Japanese minister resigns over postal reform billJune 11th, 2010 - 1:04 pm ICT by IANS
Tokyo, June 11 (DPA) Three days after Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s cabinet took office, a Japanese minister stepped down Friday to protest the government’s failure to enact legislature on postal reform.
Shizuka Kamei, the leader of the People’s New Party (PNP), resigned as postal reform and financial services minister, accusing the senior coalition partner, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), of failing to pass a bill to scale down privatisation of the post office.
“A promise between the two parties was broken, so I decided to leave the Cabinet to take responsibility,” Kamei said.
The PNP demanded the current parliamentary session be extended to pass the bill but the DPJ decided Thursday not to enact it in this session of the Diet.
The DPJ wants to end the session next week as scheduled and head into an upper house election in July while enjoying high approval ratings, following Kan taking over.
More than 60 percent support his cabinet, major opinion polls showed this week.
The latest Kyodo News poll showed the support rate for the DPJ soared 15.6 percentage points to 36.1 percent from a previous survey conducted just before then-premier Yukio Hatoyama announced his resignation last week.
Given those poll ratings, Kamei’s resignation is unlikely to damage Kan much, analysts said.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku told a news conference that Kamei’s decision was “very regrettable”.
Kan picked Shozaburo Jimi, the PNP’s secretary general, to succeed Kamei, media reports said.
The DPJ and the PNP issued a written agreement, saying they would keep the alliance and place priority on deliberating the postal reform bill at an extraordinary session of the Diet.
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