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POLITICS

Current Diet session could be extended for more than two months

  • 2015-06-11 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: June 11, 2015 – p. 4)

 

 The government and ruling parties have begun deliberating on June 10 on substantially extending the present Diet session that is set to end on June 24. In order to ensure the passage of the security legislation over which opposition parties are becoming increasingly confrontational, the government and ruling parties are planning to extend the session until around late August, including the Bon holidays in mid-August. As for the bill to revise the Worker Dispatch Law to effectively eliminate the term limit for which companies can hire workers, the government is planning to hold a vote soon at the House of Representatives Committee on Health, Labor and Welfare.

 

 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Sadakazu Tanigaki agreed on June 10 in a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence to work toward the passage of the security legislation by extending the current session. They will make a final decision on the extension period while gauging the progress of Diet deliberations. A plan to extend the session for more than two months until the end of August has emerged.

 

 The government and ruling parties had originally planned to extend the current session until around the beginning of August before the Bon holidays, because they thought the security legislation would be passed by the Lower House during the session ending on June 24 and by the House of Councillors in July.

 

 However, three constitutional scholars recently claimed one after another in the Lower House Deliberative Council on the Constitution that the security legislation is unconstitutional, which held up the deliberations. As a result, it became impossible to achieve the target of 80 hours of deliberation for passage in the House of Representatives set by the ruling parties, which led to the prediction that the bills will be passed by the Lower House sometime in July.

 

 If that happens, the government and ruling parties anticipate that the bills will be passed in the House of Councillors around the beginning of August. As the opposition parties’ resistance is expected to become fierce around the time of the vote, some leading members have said that there needs to be some leeway in the extension period “in order to prepare for unexpected developments.” The Diet Law specifies that sessions can only be extended once, which prompted the ruling parties to lean toward extending the session until after late August. The extension will also give the government an opportunity to show the opposition parties its sincere attitude toward the deliberation of the bills.

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