Ichiro Ozawa filed his resignation from the Democratic party of Japan, taking with him 49 lawmakers, as a revolt against Noda’s consumption tax bill, reports the Asahi Shimbun.
Ozawa decided to split up the party, saying that “the DPJ, under Prime Minister Noda, is no longer the DPJ that achieved a change of government,” alluding to what he called a betrayal of the party’s pledges in 2009 that led to its victory over the Liberal Democratic party.
According to the Financial Times, the threat of a complete split may fall short of the expected impact to hinder the approval of Noda’s bill. The DPJ still holds a majority in the Lower House, while it is the largest caucus in the Upper House.
Ozawa, known as the “destroyer” after breaking up several parties, urged other DPJ members to join his new party instead. Ozawa’s allies told the Financial Times that 12 Upper House members would quit the DPJ, a crucial number to retain a majority in the Upper House.
Noda said he would pursue cooperation with the LDP in the Upper House, but is in danger of pressure from opposition demands to dissolve the Lower House.