Japan's banking minister Shizuka Kamei, who also heads the ruling party's tiny coalition partner, said he will step down as cabinet minister over a controversial postal bill, Kyodo reported on Friday.
But Kamei's People's New Party (PNP) will remain in the coalition, Kyodo said, adding the outgoing minister wanted a member of his party to replace him in the cabinet.
Kamei's move comes just days after the new Prime Minister Naoto Kan launched his cabinet, taking over from the unpopular Yukio Hatoyama who quit last week after just eight months in office.
The PNP has insisted that a controversial bill to roll back privatisation of the postal system be passed in the current session of parliament, originally set to end on June 16, in a move that would require the session to be extended.
But many Democrats have called for next month's upper house election to take place as soon as possible to capitalise on a big leap in voter support after Kan took over leadership from his unpopular predecessor. [ID:nTOE65905H]
"The promise with the Democratic Party (over the postal bill) was broken and it was not implemented. Due to my responsibility as a leader (of PNP), I will step out of the cabinet," Kyodo quoted Kamei as saying.
Extending the parliament session for about two weeks beyond its original end would have likely pushed back the election from its expected date of July 11 to July 25.
The postal bill will be deliberated in a parliament session following the election, Kyodo reported.
ReutersLast Mod: 10 Haziran 2010, 23:57