It has been decided that the special Diet session that convened on Nov. 1 will last for 39 days until Dec. 9. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has normally kept special Diet sessions as short as possible to deal only with the election of the prime minister and the speaker and vice speaker of the House of Representatives. It had previously proposed to end the current session on Nov. 8, but the opposition parties, which are seeking substantial deliberations, reacted strongly. Even LDP members voiced their wariness of a backlash from the public, so the party was forced to change tack.
The LDP compromised eventually. Masatoshi Ishida, senior vice chairman of the party’s Diet Affairs Committee, proposed to a meeting of Lower House floor groups held before the plenary session on Nov. 1 to hold the special session until Dec. 9. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will deliver a policy speech to the Diet and substantial deliberations will take place at the Budget Committees. This was welcome by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) and other opposition parties.
Special Diet sessions are normally convened after Lower House elections to elect the prime minister, and they usually last for about three days. The current session, which will last for 39 days, is unusually long and the first one lasting for more than 10 days since the 42-day session in the fall of 2005, which convened after the Lower House election held over postal privatization. (Abridged)