No-confidence vote filed against Japan's PM Yoshihide Suga over pandemic, Olympics
- Japan's opposition leaders submitted a no-confidence motion against PM Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday.
- Suga previously threatened to dissolve the lower house and trigger a snap election if a vote was submitted.
- But sources told local media Kyodo News that he will refrain from doing so.
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Japan's opposition party leaders submitted a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday.
Suga has been drawing flak for his response to the Covid-19 pandemic and for the planning of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The opposition leaders agreed on the motion after Suga's ruling coalition, the Liberal Democratic Party, rejected their request to extend Japan's current parliamentary session by three months. Opposition forces believe the extension is needed to help guide the country through the upcoming Olympics, due to start July 23.
"The government has lost the public's confidence on numerous occasions," said Constitutional Democratic Party chief Yukio Edano when speaking to reporters on Monday, according to Nikkei Asia.
"The Suga government has not been able to protect the lives and livelihoods of our people," he added. Edano submitted the motion together with leaders of the Democratic Party for the People, the Social Democratic Party, and the Japanese Communist Party.
Suga previously threatened to dissolve the lower house of the National Diet over a snap election if a no-confidence vote was submitted, dissuading opposition leaders who worried that campaigning in this period would help to spread Covid-19.
And when speaking to reporters on Sunday after the G7 Summit in the UK, he did not rule out that possibility.
"(The election) could happen any time. But my top priority is dealing with the coronavirus. I want to bring back safety and security to the Japanese people as soon as possible," Suga said, according to The Japan Times.
Sources inside the LDP, including Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, told Kyodo News that they expect Suga to back down from his previous threat. It is expected that the Liberal Democratic Party will vote down the no-confidence motion on Tuesday afternoon.
Japan aims to administer one million Covid-19 vaccine doses a day, putting in on track to have 60% of the population receive its first jab by the end of September.
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