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Noda cabinet hangs by a thread

By Sun Xiaozheg, Jon Day (Xinhua)

08:26, November 02, 2012

TOKYO, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Japan's new head of the main opposition party on Wednesday pressured Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda again to dissolve the lower house of parliament by the end of this year, hammering him for a lack of leadership. It is the latest blow to the Noda administration in a row.

Meanwhile, Noda's own power base is eroding and with the resignation last week of his justice minister over mob ties, and two more lawmakers' withdrawal from Noda's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the opposition bloc is insisting Noda dissolve the lower house and call a snap election before key talks between the parties on authorizing the issuance of essential deficit-financing bonds can take place.

The latest poll showed that Noda's public support rate had fallen to 20 percent. Analysts say his cabinet is now besieged on all sides.


"You have created a political vacuum, while trying to put off the dissolution and prolong the life of the government," Shinzo Abe, the Liberal Democratic Party's chief elected late last month, told Noda at the plenary session of the House of Representatives.

Abe, a former prime minister, on Wednesday lambasted the government's planned emergency economic stimulus package as a " stopgap measure," saying the best way to bolster growth is for Noda "to go to the people as soon as possible."

On Monday, the opposition-controlled upper house excluded Noda from giving a policy speech as the extraordinary Diet session convened, which was regarded as another blast to Noda from the opposition party.

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