Opposition parties to submit Takenaka censure motion

Four major opposition parties agreed Wednesday to jointly submit a nonbinding censure motion against Financial Services Minister Heizo Takenaka.

The Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party were expected to submit the motion to the House of Representatives Budget Committee on Thursday.

“Despite his position of grave responsibility as financial services minister, Takenaka has repeatedly made irresponsible and careless remarks that have prompted confusion in the business world and further spread public anxiety over the nation’s economy,” according to the draft motion the parties prepared.

Unlike a no-confidence resolution, which is normally adopted at a Lower House plenary session, the motion has no legal force.

Although the draft motion calls for Takenaka’s “resignation,” Takao Sato, the DPJ’s Diet affairs chief, said the opposition parties will submit the nonbinding motion simply as “an act of warning.”

The opposition parties said Takenaka is irresponsible as he was forced to cancel the issuance of an interim report to promote the disposal of bad loans. The report was expected to be released Tuesday.

Takenaka was also criticized for his remark suggesting that large banks may go bankrupt — a remark that led to a sharp decline in the 225-issue Nikkei average earlier this month.

It is unusual for a nonbinding censure motion against a minister to be submitted to the Lower House.