Saturday morning’s Mainichi and Yomiuri wrote that opposition lawmakers on the Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee boycotted Friday’s session in protest of the GOJ’s refusal to submit to the panel minutes of summits and other ministerial meetings between Japan and the U.S. on the bilateral trade agreements. The opposition camp requested the minutes of the relevant bilateral sessions to verify the GOJ’s claim that there is no gap between the two countries on the elimination of U.S. tariffs on Japanese auto imports. The GOJ dismissed the request by saying that disclosing communications with a foreign partner could go against diplomatic protocols.
Yomiuri wrote today that as the Abe administration and the ruling coalition are determined to pass the bills at the Lower House on Thursday, the opposition bloc is set to step up its criticism of them and may submit a censure motion against Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Matsumoto to thwart a committee vote on Wednesday. The daily said over six hours have already been spent deliberating the two pieces of legislation, explaining that the same committee spent roughly four hours last year discussing a bill on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, which took effect in February.