Rebel pact may follow Japan poll

TSUTOMU HATA, the leader of the rebel group within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), will co- operate with opposition parties after the next elections in an attempt to break the LDP's long dominance of Japanese politics.

Mr Hata said yesterday that he was aiming to establish a coalition of 170 to 180 parliament members in the 511 member lower house - not enough to form an absolute majority, but a significant grouping of people whom he said would share a vision of 'reforming politics'. Mr Hata said his coalition would include members from the main opposition party, the Socialists.

The Prime Minister, Kiichi Miya zawa, decided on Saturday to hold elections for the lower house of the parliament on 18 July, following the vote of no confidence on Friday night.

The LDP has 278 seats, compared to the opposition's 218. The Socialists have 140 seats, followed by the Komei Party, the Communists and Democratic Socialists. But 55 LDP members either voted against the party or abstained on Friday, shocking party elders. Mr Hata's faction has 35 lower house members, and he has announced that he will form a new party on Wednesday. Another splinter group of 10 LDP parliamentarians has announced that it, too, will set up a new party for the elections.

The timing of the elections will complicate arrangements for the Group of Seven industrialised nations' summit in Tokyo next month. Campaigning - which is noisy in Japan - will begin on 4 July, even though the G7 summit runs from 7-9 July.

The other option, of holding the elections later in order to avoid any disturbance to the summit, was rejected for domestic political reasons: on 22 July the disgraced former LDP godfather, Shin Kanemaru, goes on trial for tax evasion and, in its current sorry state, the last thing the LDP needs as it heads into an election is a reminder to the electorate of just how corrupt its ranks have become. The choice of the earlier election date is a reminder of the relative priorities the LDP gives to foreign and domestic policy. Mr Hata yesterday said the mainstream LDP was to blame for allowing a domestic political crisis to blow up as Japan was preparing to host the G7 summit.

Leading article, page 19

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine