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Strife over security bills affecting Diet processing of other bills

  • 2015-07-21 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: July 19, 2015 – p. 4)


 The key security bills passed the House of Representatives on July 16, so the focus of the current Diet session has moved to deliberation of the bills in the House of Councillors. On the other hand, prospects remain uncertain for starting deliberations on a number of other key legislative measures, such as amendments to the Labor Standards Law, which the Abe cabinet regards as the centerpiece of its labor reforms, or amendments to the Civil Code, which will implement drastic changes in the provisions on debt obligations for the first time since the law was enacted.


 The opposition parties boycotted deliberations on July 17 after the security bills passed the Lower House on the previous day. However, even opposition party members hold the opinion that “Diet deliberations will broaden support for opposition [to the security bills],” according to a senior Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) official. Diet procedures are expected to normalize early next week.


 One driving factor is amendments to the Public Office Election Law for Upper House electoral system reform. Both ruling and opposition parties agree that the amendments should be passed by the Upper House by July 25, exactly one year before the end of the term of Upper House members up for election next year. The Liberal Democratic Party and others are expected to submit proposals shortly, so deliberations will probably start.


 DPJ Secretary General Yukio Edano also told reporters in Saitama City on July 18 that with regard to the scrapping of the original plan for the construction of the new national stadium, “details of the decision process should be revealed,” mentioning the need to take up this issue at the Budget Committee of both houses of the Diet. Therefore, there is an opinion that Diet procedures will start to move forward in the Budget Committee.


 The ruling parties are aiming at setting up a special committee on the security bills in the Upper House that will start deliberations before the end of this month. This will enable the application of the so-called “60-day rule,” meaning even if the Upper House fails to vote on the bills, the Lower House will be able to pass them with a second vote anytime after Sept. 14, before the Diet adjourns on Sept. 27. They are also working for the Upper House’s approval and enactment of the bills by early September, after around 100 hours of deliberation. (Abridged)

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