DPJ loses 50 lawmakers
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) saw 50 lawmakers depart its ranks on Monday. The 50 rebels, led by former party president Ichiro Ozawa voted against government moves to raise the sales tax last week and there was always a strong possibility that they would leave the party.
Of those that left the party, 38 were from the lower House of Representatives. Their departure still leaves the DPJ and their coalition partner the People’s New Party (PNP – Kokumin Shinto) with 272 of the 480 seats; 243 is needed for a majority.
In the upper House of Councillors the DPJ has lost 12 lawmakers. The party remains the largest party in the 242 seat upper house but with only 94 lawmakers. The opposition remain in control of the upper house.
Ichiro Ozawa has announced that he will form a new party but has not said when and what it will be called.