NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE AGAINST KAN BEGINS-WATCH CCTV NEWS NOW majibu NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE AGAINST KAN FAIL 293 VOTES- NO 152 VOTES-YES Therefore NAOTO KAN WINS CONFIDENCE VOTE TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Naoto Kan was confronted with the submission of a no-confidence motion to parliament on Wednesday, a move that could cost him his leadership post after nearly one year, at a time when Japan is still struggling to contain the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and reconstruct after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The motion, submitted by major opposition parties, is even being supported by some lawmakers in Kan's ruling party, who have criticized him for inadequately dealing with the emergency situation facing Japan. Voting on the motion is expected to take place Thursday afternoon during the House of Representatives plenary session. If passed, Kan will have to ask his Cabinet to resign en masse or dissolve the lower house for an election. The lower house is controlled by Kan's Democratic Party of Japan. But Kan is at risk of losing the premiership, which he has held since June 8, 2010, if around 80 DPJ rebels vote in favor of the motion in the 480-seat chamber. About 50 DPJ lawmakers, who are affiliated with Kan's political rival Ichiro Ozawa, are already prepared to back the motion, some of them said. The motion was submitted by the Liberal Democratic Party, the New Komeito party and the Sunrise Party of Japan, which said a Cabinet that has failed to present a clear reconstruction plan presents "a big obstacle" to Japan's future. It was submitted to the lower house after Kan rebuffed calls for his resignation from LDP chief Sadakazu Tanigaki and New Komeito head Natsuo Yamaguchi during their parliamentary debate. Ozawa, a former DPJ president who was indicted in late January over a funds scandal, told reporters late Wednesday he has decided to vote in support of the motion. Ozawa expressed his confidence over its passage, saying, "Our wish will fully be supported by the Diet." Even if the motion is not passed by the lower house, his rebellion means that the DPJ is in danger of falling apart. Ozawa and his allies will explore the possibility of forming a new party if their attempt to oust Kan does not succeed, some of them said. The 50 lawmakers include Shozo Azuma, a senior vice minister at the Cabinet Office, Wakio Mitsui, a senior vice minister for land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, and Katsumasa Suzuki, a senior vice minister for internal affairs and communications, who tendered their resignations from their government posts to Kan in the evening. Ozawa, a former executive member of the LDP, is one of the most powerful lawmakers in Japan and is often seen as both a creator and destroyer because of his track record in contributing to a major realignment of opposition parties and to the rise of the DPJ in 2009. Of around 100 DPJ lawmakers known as disciples of Ozawa, around 30 have said they do not plan to support the motion. Attention is now focused on what the rest of them, who have yet to make their positions clear, will do with regard to the vote. The DPJ leadership is doing everything it can to prevent other lawmakers joining the rebellion orchestrated by Ozawa, who lost to Kan in the party's presidential election in September. Excluding transport minister Akihiro Ohata and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda, DPJ lawmakers having close ties with Yukio Hatoyama, who was prime minister prior to Kan, said they are still undecided about what to do on the no-confidence motion. Ohata and Kaieda said they will vote against the motion. But Hatoyama told reporters late Wednesday that he will back the move to topple the Cabinet. Some Hatoyama allies said they could either follow suit or abstain from voting. During the first one-on-one Diet debate since the 9.0-magnitude quake hit the northeast, Tanigaki, who heads the biggest opposition party, said that Kan cannot even control the DPJ and should no longer lead Japan. Kan said now is not the time for a power struggle and called for cross-party cooperation to help people affected by the natural and nuclear disasters. Kan said he will consider extending the current Diet session beyond June 22 to discuss how to craft the second extra budget for fiscal 2011 with the LDP, the New Komeito and other opposition parties. Kan said the budget is expected to be sizable to speed up reconstruction efforts and he wants to work together with the opposition camp to decide on whether to issue special government bonds or find other ways to finance it. But Tanigaki said, "If you quit, there will be a number of ways for ruling and opposition parties to become united to create a new Japan." "I believe many of the public would not understand it," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference, referring to the growing pressure for Kan to resign, while acknowledging that the government needs to work harder to rebuild the affected areas. Edano also said it would be "illogical" for DPJ lawmakers to vote in support of the no-confidence motion against Kan, signaling that those who do so will likely be punished by the ruling party.