- Shen Yun
Aktuelle Nachrichten – NTD Television
Japan pushed through its key lower house a $1 trillion budget early Tuesday, but some MPs from Prime Minister Naoto Kan's own party boycotted the vote in a sign of his weakening clout.
The widening rift in his Democratic Party of Japan is an embarrassment for the beleaguered premier struggling to enact policies and facing calls to resign.
Failure to pass remaining budget-related bills could cause a shutdown of parts of the government within months and increase the chance of a downgrade of Japan's debt rating.
Kan held off submitting the related bills for a lower house vote after lawmakers from both camps shouted at each other and pounded tables in debate.
The embattled prime minister said the budget passage was important.
[Naoto Kan, Japanese Prime Minister]:
"To establish and pass the budget is the most urgent issue for Japanese people's livelihoods, so I'm very glad and happy that the budget bill has passed the lower house."
The prime minister's support ratings have sunk to about 20 percent as pressure grows for him to either quit or call a snap election to break the deadlock.
Kan, Japan's fifth premier since 2006, told parliament an early election would only lead to uncertainty for the public.
Japanese financial markets ignored the budget passage, as the Nikkei added to two previous days of gains.