(Yomiuri: February 2, 2016 – p. 2)
In a meeting of their secretaries general on Feb. 1, the ruling and opposition parties agreed to return Diet deliberations on Feb. 2 to normalcy. The Diet had stalled due to the illegal donation scandal involving former Economic Revitalization Minister Akira Amari.
The ruling and opposition camps agreed to have Economic Revitalization Minister Nobuteru Ishihara deliver a policy speech at the plenary sessions of the two Diet chambers on Feb. 2 and hold interpellations, and after that the government will explain the reasons for submission of a budget for fiscal 2016 at the House of Representatives’ Budget Committee. The Budget Committee will likely hold a basic question-and-answer session from Feb. 3 with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and all cabinet ministers in attendance.
During the meeting yesterday, the opposition bloc demanded that Ishihara deliver a policy speech although Amari did so in the full session of the two Diet houses on Jan. 22. The ruling coalition did not agree to Ishihara’s giving an economic policy speech, which needs cabinet approval, but made a concession by agreeing to Ishihara’s stating his own opinions. The opposition camp accepted the ruling coalition’s proposal. Abe will also take the floor in Diet deliberations.
The opposition called for summoning Amari and people involved in the illegal donation scandal as witnesses to the Diet and holding intensive deliberations on the matter at the Budget Committee. But the ruling and opposition decided to continue discussions.