• Kyodo News


Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Akira Uchiyama has been suspended from the House of Representatives through July 18 for disrupting order during deliberation on a contentious pension bill.

Uchiyama was one of the lawmakers who mobbed, Yoshitaka Sakurada, chairman of the Health, Labor and Welfare Committee, on May 30 just as the panel was about to vote on a ruling bloc-proposed bill to remove the five-year statute of limitations on people’s right to claim pension benefits.

In his attempt to stop the chairman from calling a vote, Uchiyama pinned Sakurada’s arms and forcibly pulled him from his seat.

Lawmakers in the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komeito approved the 30-day suspension of the opposition lawmaker in a vote Tuesday afternoon in a Lower House plenary session. Members of the DPJ, the Social Democratic Party and Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party) left the plenary session hall before the vote was taken.

Uchiyama is the 54th Lower House member to be suspended from the Diet since the end of World War II and the first since LDP member Kenshiro Matsunami, then a New Conservative member, was suspended in 2000 for tossing water from a glass at heckling opposition party members.

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