An extraordinary Diet session opened on Oct 15, slated to last until
December 6 for 53 days.
*The state of deliberations in both Houses and committees are
available from the following websites.can be seen. (Japanese only)
House of Representatives Internet TV：http://www.shugiintv.go.jp/en/index.php
Live broadcasts and video recordings of the deliberations in the
House of Councillors：http://www.webtv.sangiin.go.jp/
In his keynote policy speech at the Diet on Oct 15, Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe focused on domestic economic issues including (1) relaxing
monetary policy, (2) fiscal policy and (3) growth strategy, a policy
area where he has enjoyed successes so far. Meanwhile, however, Abe
added that Japan has only gone halfway toward eradicating deflation
and discussed deregulation to urge businesses to invest more to
realize further economic circulation.
Abe also emphasized he will accelerate reconstruction of damaged
infrastructure in the Tohoku region, in particular in Fukushima
Prefecture. On the radioactive water leaks at the stricken Fukushima
no.1 nuclear complex, “We won’t leave all the (water) issue to Tepco.
We will carry out our responsibilities, working on the front line,”
On the diplomatic policy, Abe argued Japan should become “a
proactive contributor” to the peace and stability of the world and
called for creation of a new national security council.
The question sessions against Abe’s general policy speech are to be
held on Oct 16-18 in both chambers of the Diet. The Budget Committees
will be opened in both Houses subsequently. The opposition parties
have prepared to censure the government for the slow response to the
radioactive water leaks in Fukushima, consumption tax hike, TPP
negotiation, new labor rules to lay off workers, etc., in a
confrontational manner. The leaders of seven opposition parties
gathered on Oct 11 to discuss tactics toward the Diet session and
affirmed to demand the Cabinet to establish a Special Committee to
discuss the TPP issue alone, as well as to meet regularly to discuss
the Diet tactics constantly. But the ruling Liberal Democratic Party
is negative on responding to the opposition camp in open Diet
Committees on the ongoing TPP negotiations as it may entail secret
information. Yet, LDP might agree on an establishment of the new
Committee in the next ordinary Diet session to be convened next January.