TOKYO, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Japan's ruling Democratic Party was further weakened as three more lawmakers submitted resignations in a bid to oppose a tax hike bill on Tuesday.
The move came after the party's former leader Ichiro Ozawa submitted resignation along with 49 other lawmakers earlier in July to show their disapproval of the tax hike bill.
The ruling party and the major opposition parties voted for a bill at the lower house in late June to double the nation's sales tax rate by October 2015. But Ozawa and those democrats close to him rebelled in the vote. The party decided to expel Ozawa and 36 lawmakers for their defection.
After the two blows that reduced its grip on power, the ruling party still able to hold a majority at the powerful lower house.