Tokyo, Nov. 1 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s ruling and opposition parties agreed Friday to normalize parliamentary operations, which have remained stalled since Thursday’s resignation of Katsuyuki Kawai as justice minister over an alleged election law violation.
The agreement was reached at a meeting of parliamentary affairs chiefs of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and two opposition parties–the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People.
As requested by the opposition camp, intensive Budget Committee deliberations will be held in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, on Wednesday and in the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, on Nov. 8.
Friday’s meeting of the Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee, where a question-and-answer session on a bill to ratify a recently signed Japan-U.S. trade deal was planned to be held, has been canceled. The LDP plans to give up on its goal to put the bill to a vote by the end of next week.
Tuesday’s joint committee review of the bill is expected to be put off to Thursday. Thus, the LDP now aims to have the bill obtain an approval at the committee level on Nov. 13 and pass the Lower House on the following day.
In the intensive discussions, which will come following the departures of two ministers in only a month and a half after the Sept. 11 cabinet reshuffle, the opposition parties plan to grill Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over his responsibility for having appointed the two.
Before Kawai, who stepped down over the suspected law violation during his wife’s Upper House election campaign in July, Isshu Sugawara resigned as minister of economy, trade and industry only last week over a money and gift scandal.
The opposition camp also hopes to pursue education minister Koichi Hagiuda’s responsibility related to the government’s decision to postpone the introduction of private-sector English tests for a planned new unified university entrance examination system.
On Friday morning, the CDPJ and other major opposition parties held a joint emergency meeting of all of their lawmakers.
“It’s not that the administration has been straightened out” with the resignations of the two ministers, CDPJ leader Yukio Edano said at the meeting. “We have to fulfill our responsibility and role to surely straighten them out.”
Japanese Communist Party head Kazuo Shii said, “The Abe administration’s moral collapse is endless.” He added that the opposition parties should combine their forces to bring down the Abe regime.