TOKYO: An extraordinary session of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, in which new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will give his first policy speech as national leader, is expected to be convened on Oct. 23 or 26, a ruling Liberal Democratic Party executive said Wednesday.
The extra Diet session is likely to be held for about 50 days, until early December, according to the executive.
The LDP-led ruling bloc and the opposition camp will engage in a full-scale battle of words, with question-and-answer sessions for Suga’s speech and meetings of the budget committees of both Diet chambers set to be held during the period.
On Wednesday morning, Suga met with LDP Diet affairs chief Hiroshi Moriyama and Acting Secretary-General Motoo Hayashi at a Tokyo hotel, apparently to exchange opinions on the schedule for the extra Diet session.
During the session, the government and ruling camp aim to ratify Japan’s new trade agreement with Britain.
The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and other opposition parties are poised to grill the government over its responses to the new coronavirus pandemic and allegations of privatization of power, brought to light by a series of scandals, including one over state-funded cherry blossom-viewing parties, which triggered a storm of criticism for the administration of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The three-day extraordinary session that ended Friday elected Suga as prime minister, but a policy speech by Suga or debates on the new administration’s policies did not take place.
On Wednesday, Moriyama met with his CDPJ counterpart, Jun Azumi, who demanded off-session debates over the virus crisis at the committees on cabinet and on land.
Moriyama told Azumi that the LDP will consider the request. The two will hold talks again on Thursday.