• Kyodo


Reform-minded Nagano Gov. Yasuo Tanaka remained noncommittal Saturday in response to a no-confidence motion passed against him Friday.

Asked whether he will dissolve the prefectural assembly, resign or do neither and thus lose his post, Tanaka only said, “What I will do is to try to understand what the people in the prefecture think about it.”

The 46-year-old governor made the remarks on a live, local TV program in the morning.

“I want you to tell me whether the parliament did not understand my policy or did understand it but did not agree,” Tanaka said when questioned about what led to the no-confidence motion.

A prizewinning novelist and Tokyo native, Tanaka has to choose between dissolving the assembly or resigning within 10 days. Otherwise, he will automatically lose his job.

He looked tired and stressed in front of his home in Nagano shortly before 10 a.m.

Rushing past reporters he only murmured “Good morning” before getting into a waiting car that took him to the TV station. His neighbors, including many housewives, encouraged him to persevere, and he thanked them for their support.

Meanwhile, prefectural assembly members visited their support groups and local residents to explain why they opted for the no-confidence motion against the governor.

The assembly voted 44-5 to pass the motion Friday evening because of Tanaka’s abrupt cancellation of two dam projects.

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