SDP wants Tajima to leave Diet

The Social Democratic Party on Wednesday decided to demand that House of Councilors lawmaker Yoko Tajima, who submitted a letter of resignation to the SDP earlier this week, also resign from the Diet.

On Monday, Tajima told the opposition party she plans to leave to become an independent, criticizing the SDP’s management and stance over North Korea-related issues.

The SDP decided at its regular executive meeting not to accept Tajima’s resignation. It said it is considering taking disciplinary action, including removing her from the party.

Tajima, 61, an outspoken feminist scholar and TV personality, said the party did not fulfill its responsibility to provide a full explanation of the abduction issue despite having close ties with North Korea for many years.

She added that she felt her future prospects in the party were limited, saying the party is “not transparent . . . so bureaucratic and chauvinistic.”

Tajima had earlier expressed a strong desire to pursue a political career as an independent, but SDP leader Takako Doi denounced the move, saying Tajima must first resign because her seat is not hers but belongs to the party.