The ruling coalition led by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has begun arrangements to convene next year’s regular Diet session on either January 19 or 22. Yoshinori Oguchi, the Diet Affairs Committee chairman of junior coalition partner Komeito, reported the plan at a meeting of the party’s Central Secretariat held on Nov. 30. The ruling bloc will simultaneously submit a draft supplementary budget for this fiscal year and a draft initial budget for the next fiscal year. It also plans to deliver “the government’s four speeches,” which include a policy speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on the day the Diet is convened. But the convocation of the Diet could be delayed depending on the prime minister’s diplomatic calendar.
Also, during the current Diet session the ruling parties have decided to give up enacting a bill to extend a relief program for businesses suffering from the so-called double-loan problem following the March 2011 earthquake, which expires on Feb. 22, 2018, by about three weeks and to postpone the bill’s enactment to the regular Diet session.