The government and the ruling parties decided on Oct. 25 to convene a special Diet session on Nov. 1 that will last until Nov. 8, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not expected to deliver a policy speech at this session. Since no extraordinary Diet session is scheduled before the end of the year, there will be a prolonged period in which there are no full-fledged Diet deliberations since the current cabinet was launched in August, except for the off-session meetings that were held.
A policy speech is the prime minister’s explanation of his administration’s basic policies. Policy speeches are normally delivered at the beginning of extraordinary Diet sessions and after the election of the prime minister at special sessions. The political parties question the prime minister through representative interpellations after the speeches.
A meeting of all ruling party and opposition floor groups of the House of Representatives was held on Oct. 25. Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) Diet Affairs Committee Chair Kiyomi Tsujimoto objected to the fact that there will be no deliberations at the special Diet session.
On the other hand, the ruling parties are standing firm on not having the prime minister give a policy speech. Although the special session will adjourn on Nov. 8, the Diet will actually only be in session for three days due to the diplomatic events relating to President Donald Trump’s visit to Japan.
If no extraordinary Diet session is convened after the special session, Abe will not be able to deliver a policy speech until the regular session in January. (Abridged)