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Japan’s Diet to convene extraordinary session on Oct. 4

  • September 18, 2019
  • , Kyodo News , 8:13 p.m.
  • English Press

The government and ruling coalition plan to convene an extraordinary Diet session on Oct. 4, senior ruling party lawmakers said Wednesday.


The session, likely to end around Dec. 10, will see the ruling and opposition parties engage in parliamentary debate for the first time since the July upper house election, in which the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito secured a solid victory.


With a new lineup of Cabinet ministers picked last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will likely deliver his policy speech on the opening day of the parliamentary session, followed by questioning by party leaders and Diet deliberations from Oct. 7 or later.


The government is considering submitting around 20 bills to the Diet during the upcoming session. If Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump sign a trade deal next week in New York as planned, the government will seek parliamentary approval before enforcing it.


The parliamentary session will take place days after Japan raises the consumption tax rate from the current 8 percent to 10 percent on Oct. 1, a move opposed by opposition parties.


As Abe seeks to inject momentum into his push to amend the Constitution, the LDP is expected to encourage opposition parties to engage in parliamentary debate on constitutional reform.


Approval by two-thirds majorities in both houses of parliament is necessary to initiate the constitutional revision process. Any amendment then needs to be approved by a majority in a referendum.


The LDP and other pro-amendment forces lost such a majority in the upper house following the July election.


To pave the way for a future constitutional amendment, the LDP has been seeking to have a revision to the country’s referendum law approved by the Diet.

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