The Liberal Democratic Party on Friday said it will not reprimand outspoken lawmaker Makiko Tanaka for speaking ill of the late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi.

The party’s disciplinary committee said it will instead monitor Tanaka’s future remarks and consider disciplinary action if she continues to insult others.

Tanaka said that Obuchi’s death in May “serves him right,” because he increased the nation’s debt by 100 trillion yen in a year. “That’s why he kicked the bucket,” Tanaka told a crowd while stumping last week for LDP presidential candidate Junichiro Koizumi, a former health minister.

LDP Secretary General Makoto Koga lodged a protest to the party’s disciplinary committee.

The move was widely seen as a pinprick by the largest LDP faction, led by former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, to corner the Koizumi camp in an uphill battle. Hashimoto is also running for the LDP presidency.

Tanaka apologized for her “careless” remarks.

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