Japan Lower House Approves Tax Bill Despite Revolt

Japan's lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved a controversial bill to double sales tax, despite a rebellion from lawmakers in the governing party.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who has staked his premiership on the tax hike, applauded the announcement of the result

TOKYO — Japan's lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved a controversial bill to double sales tax, despite a rebellion from lawmakers in the governing party.

Of the 459 votes cast, 363 were in favour, with 96 votes against. A tally by broadcaster NHK showed 57 members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan voted against the government.

"As the result, the bills to partially revise the consumption tax law were passed," lower house speaker Takahiro Yokomichi told the plenary session.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who has staked his premiership on the tax hike, applauded the announcement of the result, which was shown live on national television and followed months of political horse-trading.

The bill will now go to the upper house where it is expected to pass after deals Noda reached with the opposition parties to navigate a chamber it does not control.