(Sankei: July 6, 2015 – p.5)
With respect to the security legislation, the focus in the ongoing Diet session, the fight between the ruling and opposition parties is reaching a critical stage over the passage in the House of Representatives. The ruling parties aim to vote on the bills in the Peace and Security Legislation Special Committee on July 15 so that they will be passed in the Lower House. To counter this, while the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) aims to scrap the bills, the Japan Innovation Party (JIP), from whom the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) expects cooperation, has shifted its stance to one of caution about an early vote. Maneuvering by both the ruling and opposition parties has intensified from the beginning of this week.
The special committee will conduct on July 6 an interpellation of unsworn witnesses before the Diet in Saitama and Naha cities. The general interpellation and the intensive deliberation are already scheduled for July 8 and July 10, respectively. The public hearing in the Diet, which is a prerequisite for a vote, will be conducted on July 13. The total deliberation hours, if all proceeds as scheduled, will exceed 100 hours on July 13.
LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura emphasized on an NHK TV program on July 4: “The vote should not be postponed indefinitely. If possible, it would be better to vote as soon as we can.”
Meanwhile, the JIP is planning to submit a counterproposal on the security legislation to the Diet as early as July 9. The DPJ, which has been passive about submitting a counterproposal, shifted its stance to submitting with the JIP only a counterproposal to “the bill for territorial defense,” one part of the JIP’s counterproposal. As the government and the ruling parties decided to significantly extend the plenary session, the DPJ aims to delay the Lower House vote by demanding thorough deliberation on the counterproposal.
By taking advantage of a counterproposal submitted by opposition parties, the ruling parties want to mitigate the impression of “forced passage” by voting on both the government bills and the bill for the counterproposal at the same time. However, the JIP’s supreme advisor Toru Hashimoto (Osaka mayor) mentioned the possibility of not voting if the government and the ruling parties don’t spend sufficient time deliberating on the counterproposal. DPJ Representative Katsuya Okada showed his eagerness for forming a united front for blocking “forced passage” by saying to a group of reporters: “Deliberation of the opposition parties’ counterproposal should not end in one or two days.”