Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan survived a no-confidence vote after appealing to ruling party dissidents by offering to resign once the country's worst crisis since World War II is under control.
The Diet's lower house voted 293-152 against the motion, as opposition lawmakers failed to attract enough support from Kan's Democratic Party of Japan. Former DPJ premier Yukio Hatoyama called for party unity in rejecting the bill after Kan said he would step down once the disaster is contained.
Deepening discontent over the government's handling of the March earthquake and tsunami that precipitated the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years prompted the measure. Growing disunity in the ruling party hampered Kan's efforts to deal with a stagnant economy and heightened concerns over the government's ability to reign in the nation's debt burden.
"The Kan administration will be unavoidably damaged," said Yasunori Sone, a political science professor at Keio University in Tokyo. "Even if Kan is replaced, it will be difficult for anybody to manage a divided party and a government that doesn't control parliament."More