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Extra Diet session following Abe’s reelection to last about one month

  • September 25, 2018
  • , Yomiuri , p. 4
  • JMH Translation

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will face his first Diet interpellation after winning a third term as Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president at an extraordinary Diet session to be convened from late October to early December, and this session is expected to be a brief battle lasting just over one month. The government and the ruling parties will give top priority to passing a FY18 supplementary budget for disaster response. Another focus of attention is whether progress can be made in the constitutional debate since Abe’s goal is to revise the constitution.


After reshuffling his cabinet on Oct. 2, Abe will attend the ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Summit in Belgium on Oct. 18-19. Coordination is also underway for him to make a visit to China to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the effectuation of the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship on Oct. 23. Since the new cabinet ministers will need time to prepare, the plan is to convene the Diet on Oct. 26.


Extraordinary Diet sessions normally adjourn before the budget formulation process for the new fiscal year goes into full swing in mid-December, so the next session is expected to end around Dec. 10.


The Diet session will deliberate the proposed supplementary budget incorporating allocations for recovery from the Hokkaido earthquake after a policy speech by the prime minister and representative interpellation by the opposition parties. The government and the ruling parties are aiming at passing the budget by early November.


In addition, the following items are also slated to be deliberated in the extraordinary Diet session: 1) amendments to the Immigration Control Law to create new visa categories in light of the expansion of acceptance of foreign workers from April 2019; and 2) ratification of the economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the EU signed last July.


Abe has indicated his intent to submit constitutional revision proposals on four issues to the extraordinary Diet session. With the Commissions on the Constitution of both houses of the Diet prioritizing deliberations on revisions to the National Referendum Law, the LDP would like to see the revisions approved at an early date to lay the groundwork for substantial constitutional debate.


Meanwhile, the opposition is poised to grill the government on a series of bribery scandals at the Education Ministry as well as continue to pursue the Moritomo Gakuen and Kake Gakuen affairs at this Diet session. (Slightly abridged)

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