The Lower House on Thursday rejected two motions put forward by the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) against Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Lower House speaker Hiroyuki Hosoda — votes that reveal growing cracks between the main opposition parties ahead of next month’s Upper House election.

While the outcome of the no-confidence votes was never in doubt, the results could push the CDP and the Democratic Party for the People even further apart, making it more difficult for the parties to support unified candidates in July's Upper House election. That could result in candidates from both parties running in single-district races, thereby splitting the vote, as well as a lack of enthusiasm on voting day among opposition party supporters who could otherwise rally around a single candidate.

The CDP said one reason for the no-confidence motion against Kishida’s government was its passage of a supplementary budget without including relief for consumers and businesses being impacted by rising commodity prices. The budget instead agreed only to the extension of an existing gasoline subsidy and an increase in the reserve fund.