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Noda cabinet hangs by a thread (2)

By Sun Xiaozheg, Jon Day (Xinhua)

08:36, November 02, 2012

"Endless energy continues to be expended on fighting for power by exploiting an issue everyone faces," Noda said Monday in his opening remarks at the lower house on the first day of the extraordinary Diet session.

But despite the Prime Minister's call for cooperation to pass key bills, both the main oppositions, the LDP and the New Komeito Party, did not give clear answers to Noda's proposal.

Abe's remarks Wednesday indicated that unless Noda specifies the timing of the lower house dissolution, the LDP and its ally the New Komeito Party will not work with his ruling party in passing key bills during the extraordinary parliamentary session.

Opposition support is required for Noda to secure passage of any legislation in the current divided Diet, where the ruling coalition led by his DPJ lacks a majority in the House of Councillors.

However, Noda has refused to comment as to when he plans to dissolve the lower house. A regular general election must be held by next August.

While pressured by the opposition, Noda's own party continues losing grip, following increasing defections.

Currently, if the DPJ sees six more defections from the party, it will lose its majority in the lower house, then a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet could be submitted.

UNPOPULAR POLICIES

Ichiro Ozawa, a shadowy political veteran sparked the first wave of defections when he bolted from the DPJ to start his new party called putting people's lives first -- an old DPJ slogan -- in July.

49 Ozawa loyalists, including 37 lower house lawmakers and 12 upper house lawmakers dramatically bolted from the ruling party in an Ozawa-led mass-exodus in early July.

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