Tokyo, Sept. 28 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s ruling and opposition parties agreed Wednesday that the Diet, the country’s parliament, will open an extraordinary session on Monday for a 69-day run until Dec. 10.
The ruling coalition proposed that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida deliver a policy speech on the opening day. But the two sides failed to agree on the timing of the speech as the opposition parties demanded that House of Representatives Speaker Hiroyuki Hosoda appear before the Diet to discuss his alleged links with the controversial religious group known as the Unification Church.
Hosoda plans to announce the outcome of his voluntary investigation into the matter on Thursday, said Shunichi Yamaguchi, chairman of the Lower House steering committee and a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
The Lower House speaker plans to release a statement, a senior LDP official said. Hosoda has declined to appear before the Diet to discuss the matter.
The extraordinary Diet session will be the first opportunity for full-fledged debates between ruling and opposition lawmakers since the July election for the House of Councillors.
The opposition parties are poised to grill the Kishida administration on its decision to hold a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and links between LDP members and the Unification Church.
The opposition parties Wednesday agreed that the Diet should examine Tuesday’s state funeral for Abe. “The Diet needs to study whether appropriate procedures were in place” for the event, Jun Azumi, Diet affairs chief at the leading opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, told reporters.
At the Diet session, the government aims to enact a fiscal 2022 second supplementary budget designed to finance fresh economic measures.
It also plans to submit a total of 18 bills to the Diet, including for revamping Lower House single-seat constituencies and for obliging hospitals to secure beds to prepare for a future pandemic.