Tokyo, Aug. 26 (Jiji Press)–Speculation emerged Thursday among members of the government and ruling Liberal Democratic Party that an extraordinary session of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, will be convened next month.
Under the scenario, the extraordinary session would start before the LDP leadership election Sept. 29, according to government and party members.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga plans to hold the LDP race before the next election of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet.
But holding an extraordinary session next month would give him an option to dissolve the all-important chamber before the party election.
Suga’s side apparently aims to keep in check LDP members who hope to block his re-election after he was pummeled by the defeat of his close ally in Sunday’s mayoral election of Yokohama, Suga’s home territory.
On Thursday, Jun Azumi, Diet affairs head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, met with his LDP counterpart, Hiroshi Moriyama to call for an extraordinary Diet session from Sept. 7 to 16.
Azumi also requested the enactment of a supplementary budget for fiscal 2021 to increase the reserve funds for measures against the novel coronavirus.
“A political vacuum is expected to be formed” due to the LDP leadership race and other affairs, Moriyama told reporters after the meeting. “It’s important to ensure that enough measures can be taken with the reserve funds.”
LDP General Council Chairman Tsutomu Sato told a news conference that the proposed Diet session would be good for the fight against the coronavirus.
Both Moriyama and Sato are close aides to Suga.
If the extraordinary Diet session ends on Sept. 16 as requested by the CDP, the Lower House poll may take place Oct. 10. Suga would also have the option of dissolving the chamber Sept. 16.
Opposition parties want Suga to stay on as LDP president because the falling public support for his administration will benefit them more in the Lower House poll.
“The approval rate would recover in a celebratory mood no matter who else is elected in the (LDP) leadership race,” a middle-ranking member of the CDP said. “The best thing is that Suga retains his post.”