• Kyodo News


Prime Minister Naoto Kan faced criticism Friday in the Diet by opposition lawmakers for having a shaky grip on his administration and the Democratic Party of Japan during the crucial runup to passing the fiscal 2011 budget.

Ichita Yamamoto of the Liberal Democratic Party took issue with Kan’s “flawed” leadership in the wake of recent developments, including the attempt by 16 DPJ members to leave the party’s parliamentary group and an attempt by another lawmaker to leave the DPJ.

“I do not see your administration as having good governance,” Yamamoto said during a session of the Upper House Budget Committee, which kicked off deliberations on the record ¥92.42 trillion budget that would take effect April 1.

But Kan, who doubles as president of the DPJ, countered that the administration and DPJ are generally doing well, and renewed his appeal to the opposition camp, which controls the Upper House, to “enact the budget without further delay.”

The Lower House, led by the ruling coalition, approved the budget Tuesday.

Pressed again to dissolve the Lower House for a general election, Kan said he has no immediate plan. But he added that “when the time comes wherein I am confronted with the choice (to do so), I will act based on constitutional rules.”

The Upper House initially planned to crank up the budget process Thursday, but the ruling and opposition camps disagreed over the debate format.

The Constitution states that the budget will be enacted within 30 days of being sent to the Upper House after securing the approval of the more powerful Lower House, even if the Upper House rejects it or does not vote on it.

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