When vice farm minister Michio Ide in June criticized the Democratic Party of Japan's plans to subsidize farmers' income as unrealistic, DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama quickly fired back.

"Bureaucrats need to be fair and neutral," Hatoyama said, adding that if bureaucrats in Britain had made such remarks, "they'd be sacked."

The incident highlighted the marked discord rising between the civil servants and the DPJ, which is boldly vowing to place the administrative power of the government in the hands of politicians if the opposition party takes power in the Aug. 30 general election.