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POLITICS

Gov’t, LDP making adjustments for extending Diet session until early September

  • 2015-06-15 15:00:00
  • , Sankei
  • Translation

(Sankei: June 13, 2015 – Top play)

 

 The government began making adjustments on a plan to extend the current Diet session, which will end on June 24, until early September, based on the expectation that a vote on security-related bills in the House of Representatives will be delayed until early July because deliberations on the bills have not made the progress. However, since the ruling Liberal Democratic Party plans to hold its presidential election in September and there will be many diplomatic engagements, there are voices calling for ending the Diet session before the end of August. Carefully observing the course of deliberations on the security legislation, the government and the LDP will decide a concrete schedule next week.

 

 The Lower House Special Committee on Peace and Security held a general question-and-answer session on June 12. As a result, a total of 42 hours (including hours the Democratic Party of Japan boycotted the deliberations) was spent for deliberations on the security legislation.

 

 LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Tsutomu Sato has said that an estimate of “80 hours” should be spent for deliberations and a vote on the bills. The LDP initially aimed to have the bills clear the Lower House by June 24, but the deliberations have not made progress due to such reasons as the aftermath of the massive leak of personal data from the Japan Pension Service. A senior LDP Diet Affairs Committee member explained: “Even if the deliberations progress smoothly, the deliberation time will reach 80 hours in July at the earliest.”

 

 Therefore, LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura said at a liaison meeting of the LDP executives on June 12: “I hope the current Diet session will be extended so that the deliberations will be carried out sufficiently.” He called for a lengthy extension of the current session. A senior LDP member said: “We want to consider applying the 60-day rule stipulated in Article 59 of the Constitution,” which allows for a bill to be sent back to the Lower House if rejected by the Upper House or if the bill has not been voted on within 60 days after being presented to the upper chamber.

 

 However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to attend the UN General Assembly annual meeting in late September. Immediately before the UNGA meeting, the LDP leadership election will be held. In addition, many LDP members think that “since the ruling coalition holds a majority in both Diet chambers, the ruling camp should not hesitate to take a vote on the legislation at an early date.” Therefore, there remains an option to extend the Diet session until the end of August.

 

 Upcoming political events

 

June 17

Party leaders’ debate

June 24

End of current Diet session (to be extended)

Early July

Lower House to take a vote on the security-related bills?

Mid-August

Cabinet adoption of the prime minister’s statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II

August 15

Anniversary of the end of World War II

End of August

Upper House to take a vote on the security legislation?

Early September

If deliberation on the bills continues at the Upper House, the Lower House will be able to revote on them. The end of the extended session?

Early- to mid-September

Start of the official campaign for the LDP presidential election

Mid- to end-September

LDP presidential election

Late September

Reshuffle of cabinet and LDP executives

 

Prime Minister Abe to attend UNGA meeting (in New York)

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