(Mainichi: July 8, 2015 – p. 5)
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party confirmed on July 7 at a liaison meeting of executive officers that the party aims to have the security-related bills clear the House of Representatives next week. The LDP intends to put the bills to a vote as early as July 15 at the Lower House special committee on peace and security. However, the LDP plans to make a final decision this week while carefully watching the response by the opposition Japan Innovation Party (JIP). The LDP envisages postponement for about a week if it can receive a commitment from the JIP to take a vote on the legislation.
LDP Secretary General Sadakazu Tanigaki said at a press meeting on July 7: “It is not that new issues are raised. We should now look for the exit.” The special committee is expected to hold a central public hearing on July 13. If all goes smoothly, the ruling parties plan to take a vote on the bills at the special committee on July 15 and at the Lower House plenary session on July 16, after which they will send them to the House of Councillors.
However, if the ruling coalition rushes to put the bills to a vote, there will be a possibility that the JIP and other opposition parties will walk out of the plenary session before the vote, inevitably creating the impression that the ruling camp unilaterally passed the bills.
As Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, supreme adviser to the JIP, has asserted that “if sufficient time is not spent for deliberation on the counterproposals, the party should reject the vote in a dignified manner,” the ruling bloc intends to carefully observe how the JIP responds. (Slightly abridged)