Japan's Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira is still the centre of a crisis in his Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP).
Japan's Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira is still the centre of a crisis in his Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP). Leading members of the ruling party have formed a bloc devoted to throwing Mr. Ohira out of office. The dispute has already lasted four weeks and has paralysed a special session of parliament called to elect a new Prime Minister.
SYNOPSIS: Tokyo's Liberal-Democratic Party headquarters have been the centre of meetings to try to end the dispute within the ranks of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Former Premier Takeo Fukuda is one of Mr. Ohira's severest critics. He along with other party members blames Mr. Ohira for the party's setbacks in the October seventh general elections. Mr. Fukuda agreed on Thursday (2 November) to meet with Eiichi Nishimura the LDP Vice President. Mr. Nishimura is acting as mediator between the outgoing Prime Minister Ohira and his critics. So far leaders of four factions have been unable to budge the Prime Minister and get him to resign. They represent about one hundred and thirty parliamentarians. The dispute within the party has temporarily left Japan without any real government.
Mr. Ohira has admitted responsibility for the election setback but has refused to step down saying that such a punishment would be too severe for what he called his "crime". Mr. Ohira and his cabinet had to resign on Tuesday (30 October) under constitutional requirements before the start of a parliamentary session devoted to electing a new premier.