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Kan’s Japan Debt Reduction Risked by Party Rebellion

Sixteen lawmakers in Japan’s ruling party vowed to unite to oppose the policies of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, threatening his efforts to win approval for budget legislation and rein in public debt.

The lawmakers are distancing themselves from Kan while remaining in the Democratic Party of Japan, according to a faxed statement sent to reporters yesterday by their leader, Koichiro Watanabe. The group is against Kan’s plan to push for an increase in the country’s 5 percent consumption tax and plans to form a new voting bloc, the statement said.