(Yomiuri: June 25, 2015 – p.4)
In a meeting of the chairmen of the Diet Affairs Committees of both the ruling and opposition parties held in the Diet on June 24, the ruling and opposition parties agreed to restart deliberations in the extended Diet session. The House of Representatives Peace and Security Legislation Special Committee, which deliberates on the security legislation, is expected to hold intensive deliberations in its meeting to be held on June 26, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attending. By accelerating the deliberation, the government and the ruling parties will attempt to pass the bills as early as the beginning of July. However, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and other opposition parties are ready for all-out resistance, aiming to block their passage. A tug of war between the ruling parties and opposition parties will inevitably become fierce.
The current Diet session has now been extended for 95 days till September 27, the longest ever. If the security legislation is passed around early July as the ruling parties want, that will make it possible to apply the “60 days rule,” under which legislators of the House of Representatives can pass the bills with a majority of at least two-thirds 60 days after the bills were sent to the House of Councillors.
Wary of such a development, the opposition parties have criticized the ruling parties by saying, “Such a development is an act to marginalize the House of Councillors,” which has made it difficult to predict when the Diet deliberations will restart.
In the meeting of the Diet Affairs Committee chairmen of the ruling and opposition parties held on June 24, as the Liberal Democratic Party Chairman of the Diet Affairs Committee Tsutomu Sato explained, “The ruling parties will not proceed with the deliberation under the shield of the 60 days rule,” the opposition parties agreed to resume the deliberation. DPJ Secretary General Edano said in a press conference held on June 24, “It was an agonizing choice but we want to discuss problematic points of the security legislation in the deliberation.”
In the meantime, in a meeting of the House of Representatives Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Committee directors held on June 24, the ruling and opposition parties agreed to vote on the bill for revising the Agricultural Cooperatives Act after Abe attends the committee for the final interpellation on the bill for revising the act.