Japan's SDP chief pressured to step down after election blow

17:11, July 29, 2010      

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Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Mizuho Fukushima on Thursday came under increasing pressure from within the ranks of the party to take responsibility for the loss of seats in the recent House of Councilors' election.

Calls for Fukushima to step down have become increasingly fervent following the SDP's seats being reduced from five to four as a result of the upper house election on July 11.

Although Fukushima is expected to remain in her post, the party 's deputy leader Seiji Mataichi, said that party executives, included himself, should resign, adding further pressure to Fukushima and potentially creating a factional rift as the tiny party continues to battle to realign and revitalize itself following its departure from the ruling Democratic Party coalition earlier this year.

Kantoku Teruya, the party's Diet affairs chief, told reporters that he had urged Fukushima and other leaders to step down to take responsibility for the situation and contributing to party's predicament was the recent announcement by Kiyomi Tsujimoto, the party's key lawmaker, that she will leave the SDP to protest its inept leadership.

The embattled party will finalize its review of the election at the end of August, when it will hold a meeting of regional chapter heads.

Source: Xinhua


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