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Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010

Funds for stimulus get Lower House OK

Staff writer

A ¥5.1 trillion supplementary budget for fiscal 2010 aimed mainly at financing an economic stimulus package cleared the Lower House on Tuesday.

The bill will be sent Thursday to the Upper House.

Although the Democratic Party of Japan-led ruling bloc does not hold an Upper House majority, the bill is expected to be passed next week even if vetoed in the chamber because the decision by the Lower House, where the DPJ holds a comfortable majority, will hold sway.

The DPJ-led government hoped the budget would clear the Lower House on Monday, but it wasn't pushed through until Tuesday afternoon after the Liberal Democratic Party submitted no-confidence motions to the chamber against transport minister Sumio Mabuchi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku.

The LDP submitted the motions separately, holding the two ministers responsible for the leak of video clips showing the collisions between Japan Coast Guard vessels and a Chinese trawler off the Senkaku Islands in September. The LDP tactic delayed passage of the supplementary budget bill until midnight.

Both motions were voted down by the ruling bloc-controlled chamber.

Before the plenary session began at the Lower House, Yoshio Hachiro, DPJ Diet affairs chief, said: "It was harder than expected, given the 'twisted' Diet, to pass the budget."

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The Japan Times

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