The government and the ruling parties have begun coordination to extend the current Diet session, which is due to adjourn on June 20, for about a month. In light of strong public criticism of the implementing legislation for integrated resorts (IR) with casinos, they will attempt to secure enough deliberation time in order to avoid forcible passage of the bills.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai at the Kantei on June 18, where the length of the extension was discussed. He told Nikai: “I would like the two houses of the Diet to discuss this thoroughly. I leave this issue in your hands.”
Nikai told reporters after the meeting that he did not discuss with Abe the specific number of days of the extension. The government and the ruling parties will make a final decision based on the situation in Diet deliberations on June 19, and a vote on the extension will take place at the House of Representatives plenary session on June 20.
A first, there was strong support for a proposal to extend the Diet session only to around July 8, in order to give the opposition less opportunity to grill the government. The ruling parties also gave consideration to Abe’s plan to visit Belgium, France and other countries in mid-July. However, LDP House of Councillors members voiced the opinion that “it would be difficult to pass the IR bills by July 8 with the opposition’s resistance.”
With a one-month extension, Diet deliberations can take place even after Abe returns from his trip.