All papers highlighted Diet discussions on the GOJ-sponsored TPP legislation on Thursday, noting that the ruling coalition has chosen not to put the bills to a vote at a Lower House plenary session on Friday and instead is aiming to do so on Nov. 1 or later out of deference to the opposition camp, which remains strongly opposed to the regional free trade pact. Mainichi said if the bills clear the lower chamber on Nov. 1, they will probably be enacted by Nov. 30 when the current Diet session ends. Yomiuri said the GOJ and the ruling coalition may extend the present Diet term into December if necessary in order to ensure the enactment.
According to Asahi, the TPP’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism became a major point of contention during yesterday’s session, with an opposition lawmaker grilling Foreign Minister Kishida about whether the Japanese government could be sued by a U.S. multinational corporation that viewed Japanese regulations as a barrier to its investment in Japan. The GOJ official reportedly dismissed this concern by saying that such a lawsuit is implausible. Tokyo Shimbun said PM Abe underscored that the TPP contains no rules that would “undermine” food safety in Japan.