No surprise here, but the Japan Post privatization bill package has passed the House of Representatives:
On Tuesday morning, the Lower House special committee on postal privatization held deliberations on the bills presented by the government and those submitted by Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), the main opposition party. After receiving approval at committee level, the government-proposed bills were immediately sent to the Lower House plenary session for voting in the afternoon. Koizumi’s Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner New Komeito supported the bills. Minshuto, along with the Japanese Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party and the newly established People’s New Party and New party Nippon, opposed the bills.
Of the total of 480 lawmakers in the Lower House, 17 are former LDP lawmakers who voted against the bills in the previous Lower House plenary session in July. Some now belong to the two new parties or are independent.Of those independent lawmakers, some, including former posts minister Seiko Noda, voted for the bills.
See also this Yomiuri article on the shifting meaning of being a faction leader within the LDP. Of course, we’re still in the midst of the special Diet session, but it’s not surprising that the ripple effects from the Koizumi-led election victory in the summer are already discernible.