TOKYO, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan will be suspended as member of the Democratic Party of Japan ( DPJ), the main opposition in the country, for three months as he defied the party's policy by supporting an independent candidate in upper house election held July 21.
The DPJ made the decision, which was proposed by party chief Banri Kaieda, at a meeting of party's executive board on Friday. Kaieda earlier proposed to expel Kan from the party.
Kan is at odds with his party for supporting single-term upper house lawmaker Masako Okawara, regardless of not having the backing of the DPJ for his endorsement, just two days before the election campaign kicked off.
Kan, known as a staunch anti-nuclear advocate following the earthquake-triggered nuclear disaster when he was prime minister two years ago, opted to defy his party and support Okawara as he believed the candidate's ideology was "more in line with party's stance to seek a nuclear phase-out by 2030s."
The DPJ suffered a dismal defeat in the upper house race as it only secured 17 seats in the election, the fewest since the party was formed in 1998.
Meanwhile, the party on Friday also approved to pick Akihiro Ohata, acting president, to become the party's new secretary general, as Goshi Hosono said Tuesday that he will step down from the post in late August to take the responsibility of the election failure.