(Yomiuri: January 15, 2016 – p. 4)
The government decided on Jan. 14 to narrow down the list of new bills to be submitted to the ordinary Diet session to 55. This is a record low for an ordinary Diet session, except for sessions during which the House of Representatives was dissolved.
The previous lowest number of bills submitted was 58 for the 1982 ordinary Diet session. The government submitted 75 bills to last year’s session. The administration reduced the number of bills because of the House of Councillors election this summer, which will make it impossible for the government to significantly extend the session. Another reason for the low number is that many pending bills have been carried over from the last session, including the bill to revise the Code of Criminal Procedure. Lawmakers will continue to deliberate on pending bills in the current session.
The new bills submitted include those related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the bill to revise the Civil Code for reviewing the waiting period before remarriage, and the bill to revise the National Strategic Special Zones Law. Deliberations on these bills will begin after the passage of the 2016 budget bill, which the government aims to achieve by the end of March. As the G7 summit (Ise-Shima Summit) is scheduled for May 26 and 27, “the government will only be able to spare one month during April for substantial deliberations,” according to a Liberal Democratic Party official.