Japanese PM calls for parliamentary cooperation on fiscal reform

23:24, July 30, 2010      

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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Friday pledged to fix the nation's fiscal woes and cooperate with opposition parties in a bid to ensure fiscal reform is achieved by the consensual passing of bills.

Speaking at a press conference following Japan's parliament convening for an extraordinary session on Friday, the prime minister said he remained committed to fiscal reform despite his ruling party's defeat in this month's upper house election.

"Regardless of who is prime minister or which party is in charge, no one can avoid the issue of fiscal reform. I would like to work hard on fiscal reform from now on, too," Kan told reporters.

Kan also vowed to cut waste and focus on creating jobs and engineering growth in the state budget for the next fiscal year from April 2011 and called for cooperation from the opposition camp in order to help the country move out of its harsh economic predicament.

The embattled prime minister has seen his public support ratings slip following his party's defeat in the upper house election and must consolidate support from his lawmakers ahead of the ruling party's presidential election in September.

He told reporters he was not considering dissolving parliament' s lower house for a general election and said that losing control of the upper house was not the huge setback political commentators are suggesting. However, he admitted his culpability.

"I do not see this situation is necessarily a minus," Kan said. "We must work together for the sake of the nation." "The results of the upper house election were very severe for my party," he added, going on to say that his suggestion just before the polls that Japan should consider raising its sales tax was partly to blame for his party's election flop.

The challenge for the ruling Democrats, now that power in the upper chamber is divided, will be to find new allies to strengthen the coalition and to help pass new bills and make good on the fiscal reforms promised to their electorate.

Despite calls from the opposition bloc for him to step down for his failure to consolidate the Democrats' power in the upper house and frustration among a number of his own senior lawmakers, Kan will likely continue as the Democratic Party of Japan's president, although some commentators predict a challenge from party powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa.

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) headed by Kan experienced a setback in the upper house election on July 11 as it failed to retain a majority in the chamber.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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