The Social Democratic Party has withdrawn from the coalition government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, after the PM fired SDP leader Mizuho Fukushima as his consumer affairs minister (AFP) for criticizing Hatoyama’s decision to retain the US base on Okinawa.
The SDP was a small pre-electoral partner of the ruling Democratic Party in the last general election.
There are elections to the second chamber of parliament, the House of Councilors, in July.
I am not sure what this means for the coalition’s electoral arithmetic. It does not even come close to affecting the government’s majority status in the House of Representatives.
I suppose that the SDP leader’s portfolio was consumer affairs says something about just how important the party was to the coalition.