Japan’s opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) plans to submit a motion of no confidence against the cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Wednesday.
The LDP and its ally New Komeito are expected to jointly submit the motion after the day’s planned parliamentary debate. A vote on the motion is expected to be held on Thursday.
The opposition accused Kan’s government of a slow and inappropriate response to the magnitude—9 earthquake and tsunami on March 11 and the subsequent nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The March disaster left more than 15,200 people dead and 8,500 missing while more than 102,000evacuees are still living in emergency shelters more than two months after the quake.
The Fukushima plant was crippled by the disaster and has leaked radioactive substances into the environment ever since.
Mr. Kan has been faced criticism from within his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), with some lawmakers hinting at support for a motion of no confidence.
Mr. Kan’s predecessor Yukio Hatoyama met the Premier Tuesday night and reportedly asked him to step down voluntarily.
But Kan, who took office nearly one year ago, rejected the request, the Nikkei business daily said.
The opposition needs the support of some 80 DPJ lawmakers to have a motion clear the 480-seat lower house.
If the motion is passed, the cabinet will be forced to resign en masse or dissolve the house for a snap election.