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The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito submitted a resolution proposal Friday to House of Representatives Speaker Yohei Kono to urge scandal-hit lawmaker Shingo Nishimura to resign.

Nishimura, kicked out of the Democratic Party of Japan, pleaded guilty Thursday of having one of his employees use his name to act as a lawyer.

It is the first time the ruling bloc has submitted this kind of resolution, which is nonbinding, to the Lower House, the chamber’s secretariat said.

Despite division in the LDP over the resolution, steered by New Komeito, LDP Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe backed the coalition partner to have the action put forward.

If the opposition parties agree to the resolution, there could be a Diet vote as early as next week. Already, DPJ sources have said their party will tell its members to vote for the resolution.

The passing of a resolution to ask for a lawmaker’s resignation is the strongest action the Lower House can take against members accused of wrongdoing, but few cases have ever gone to a vote.

The Diet has adopted three calls for resignation, including one for former Lower House member Takanori Sakai in 2003 for his involvement in a political donations scam. However, in none of the cases did the lawmaker resign.

Nagata go: Watanabe

Democratic Party of Japan Diet affairs chief Kozo Watanabe said Friday that Hisayasu Nagata, who has had his party membership suspended over the Horie e-mail fiasco, should consider giving up his Diet seat.

“It is important for a politician to decide on his own course of action,” Watanabe told reporters at the Diet. “It is necessary to commit hara-kiri when one can save the political party by quitting, when such an act will help gain public confidence in politics. A politician is, after all, a samurai.”

Watanabe took up the post as the main opposition party’s chief negotiator for Diet affairs after his predecessor, Yoshihiko Noda, stepped down earlier this month to take responsibility for allowing Nagata to read in a February Lower House committee session an e-mail that he claimed was orders from Livedoor founder Takafumi Horie for staff to transfer 30 million yen to a son of Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe. The e-mail proved to be fake.

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