The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito have given up on their original goal of passing the draft FY18 budget in the House of Representatives on Feb. 27. They have decided that in light of the opposition’s strong resistance due to issues with the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare’s comparison of data, it will be necessary to manage Diet affairs scrupulously.
LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Hiroshi Moriyama met with his Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) counterpart Kiyomi Tsujimoto on Feb. 26, informing her of the government’s rejection of the opposition’s demands to refrain from submitting the bills on workstyle reform and to redo the working hour surveys. The CDPJ and five other opposition parties reacted strongly to this, deciding unanimously not to engage in discussions on the schedule for passing the budget.
Ruling party and opposition secretaries general held sporadic meetings on the evening of Feb. 26 to find a solution to this impasse. However, the opposition maintained its tough stance, resulting in the ruling parties’ backing down from its plan to pass the budget in the Lower House on Feb. 27.
Moriyama told reporters in the predawn hours of Feb. 27: “The secretaries general of the LDP and Komeito are hoping to steer Diet affairs smoothly. Discussions were held between the ruling and opposition parties from this standpoint.” The schedule for passing the budget will be discussed again on Feb. 27.