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Opposition blasts LDP's readmission of 'postal rebels'.

TOKYO, Nov. 27 Kyodo

Opposition parties on Monday blasted the decision by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party earlier in the day to readmit 11 independent lawmakers it ousted last year over a policy dispute, saying that anything goes with the dominant party.

''It is a party in which anything goes depending on each situation,'' said Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan. ''Its policies are also vague and hazy and unfathomable.''

Tadayoshi Ichida, who heads the Japanese Communist Party's Secretariat, suggested at a news conference that the LDP's move may have adversely affected the support ratings for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who heads the ruling party.

''People may think anything goes with the party if it is doing this with the intention of winning the House of Councillors election,'' which will be held next summer, the lawmaker said.

Social Democratic Party Secretary General Seiji Mataichi also criticized the LDP's move as ridiculing people and unreasonable. ''While using huge sums of taxpayers' money on a general election and writing off opposing members within the party, it is now trying to capitalize on them,'' he said.

Tamisuke Watanuki, leader of the conservative opposition People's New Party, questioned if the privatization of Japan Post, over which the 11 lawmakers left their party, was really that big a deal.

''Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said the privatization of postal services was the biggest issue under the sun, but was it really so? People in a future era will criticize this when it is combined with the consequences of the readmission issue,'' he said.

Abe, the LDP's president, said Monday his party will readmit 11 of the 12 lawmakers it ousted last year after they pledged to support the privatization of Japan Post among other conditions.

The lawmakers opposed the LDP's postal privatization policy and ran against the party's candidates in last year's House of Representatives election.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Dec 4, 2006
Previous Article:LDP tax panel eyes compiling reform outline around Dec. 14.
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