JAPAN LAND CASINO BILL RUNS INTO TROUBLE (Update)
Opposition parties drain momentum as showdown approaches.
Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which managed to push a land casino legalization bill through the Diet's Lower House last week against the odds has run into more determined opposition in the Upper House Cabinet Committee, where further debate took place Monday as the Democratic and Communist opposition parties firmed up their opposition to the bill, draining its momentum and forcing the LDP into further consultation on Tuesday.
Threats by the LDP to push the bill to the plenary session of the House of Councillors for a vote only seemed to harden the opposition, which appears confident that the chairman of the Cabinet Affairs Committee, the Democratic Party's Shoji Namba, will veto such a move.
Speculation that the ruling party may try to remove this obstacle by overthrowing Namba was discounted by observers, who said that such a move would only further intensify criticism and opposition to the bill.
It is more likely, they added, that the government may try to get around the issue with political maneuvering through a vote on an ‘interim report', but this would again elicit criticism and a hardening of attitudes.
Guarding against such a move, the opposition parties have prepared a House of Councillors censure motion and a vote of no confidence in the government's handling of the bill in the Lower House, which could be activated on Wednesday.
If that further delays the passage of the bill, the LDP may extend the extraordinary Diet session even further to assure time for a vote.
Long story short – attitudes on both sides are hardening, ensuring a continuing step by step fight, but the LDP still has the edge and may be able to push a vote through.