A motion of no confidence was submitted to the government against Japanese agricultural minister Tsutomu Takebe yesterday [Monday].

A statement submitted by Japanese opposition parties linked the loss of confidence to Takebe’s handling of the country’s recent BSE scare.

The discovery of mad cow disease “has widely spread distrust over the safety of the country’s beef and other foods, causing tremendous [adverse] effects on producers, distributors, processors, retailers, restaurant owners and consumers,” it said.

“The dismissal of minister Takebe is the minimum requirement and beginning for recovering the country’s confidence on agricultural administration and settlement of the BSE problem.”