The opposition parties were united Wednesday behind a move to present a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi but remained divided over when it should be submitted, opposition lawmakers said.

“It is the basic stance of the Democratic Party of Japan that it wants to submit the motion in the week of July 22,” said Yoshihiko Noda, chairman of the party’s Diet Affairs Committee. He was speaking during a morning meeting of his opposition camp counterparts.

The current extended Diet session is scheduled to end July 28.

Noda called for the other opposition parties to cooperate in a joint submission, and the Liberal Party, the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party expressed their basic understanding of the matter. But there was disagreement over the timing.

Some in the opposition camp believe the motion should be submitted before the enactment of a bill that would allow Self Defense Forces to be dispatched to Iraq, which is currently being debated in the Diet. This means further discussions over the arrangement will be made in the next meeting, which will be held as early as July 16, the lawmakers said.

The heads of the Diet affairs committees of the four opposition parties also agreed in principle to question the responsibility of Financial Services Minister Heizo Takenaka, who is also fiscal and economic policy minister.

They agreed to question him during a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting on July 18 and plan to submit a no-confidence motion or a censure motion against him to the House of Councilors, the lawmakers said.

Giichi Tsunoda, who heads the DPJ caucus in the Upper House, said during a general assembly of the party’s lawmakers, “The Takenaka issue must be discussed thoroughly in the (budget) committee and settled in an appropriate manner.”

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