Desertion hits Japan ruling party

Ex-minister walks out of Liberal Democratic Party heaping criticism on prime minister.

    Watanabe said he quit because the LDP was
    more interested in holding on to power [Reuters]

    Watanabe's departure came just before the parliament was set to vote on budget bills that include a proposal to hand out money to spur spending.

    Watanabe and the opposition parties fiercely oppose the plan, calling it a waste of money, and polls show most voters are against it as well.

    'Silent support'

    Watanabe has said he does not intend to start a new party, but added there are many within the ranks of the LDP who share his views and said he expects they will co-operate with him.

    Eiken Itagaki, a political analyst and author, told the Associated Press that a mass defection was not likely because many politicians depend on the party infrastructure to keep their seats.

    "Those that oppose the party openly will be cutting their own throats," he said.

    Watanabe has strong support from voters in his home district, and he is less reliant on the LDP.

    But Itagaki said if the next round of elections weakens the party, as is widely expected, more members could defect.

    Japan's prime minister has the power to dissolve parliament and call general elections at any time.

    By law however, Aso must call elections by September of this year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.