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Three opposition parties on Tuesday jointly submitted a nonbinding resolution of censure to the House of Councilors against Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, claiming that his remark that Japan is “a divine nation centering on the Emperor” violates the Constitution.

“Mori’s remark is clearly a breach and denial of the Constitution” which states that sovereignty rests with the people, said Toshimi Kitazawa, a DPJ member. “He lacks the qualification and character of a prime minister.”

The nonbinding motion was submitted to Upper House President Juro Saito jointly signed by 100 Upper House members. The Liberal Party did not join in the submission of the motion but is expected to support it.

Although the motion is likely to be killed at an Upper House plenary session today since the coalition parties hold a majority in the chamber, it will inevitably deal a blow to the reputation of Mori and his Cabinet ahead of general elections expected on June 25.

The four opposition parties also plan to submit a no-confidence motion against Mori’s Cabinet to the House of Representatives today once the censure motion is voted down in the Upper House.

Opposition lawmakers charged that Mori’s remarks bring to mind Japan’s militaristic past, when Japan rampaged over Asia in the name of the Emperor.

On Friday, Mori apologized for the second time at a specially organized press conference for having incited criticism with his remark, but did not retract the comment. Opinion polls have shown sharply declining public support for Mori’s administration since the furor.