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Ruling, Opposition Camps Face Off as Extra Diet Session Starts

Ruling, Opposition Camps Face Off as Extra Diet Session Starts

   Tokyo, Oct. 4 (Jiji Press)--An extraordinary session of the Diet, Japan's parliament, commenced on Friday, setting the stage for full-fledged debates between the ruling and opposition camps following last month's cabinet reshuffle conducted after the July election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet.
   A major focus of the session is whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, can advance discussions for revising the Constitution, his long-held policy goal.
   New opposition caucuses formed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People and others are poised to take on a confrontational stance against the LDP-led ruling bloc.
   The extraordinary session will run for 67 days to Dec. 9. The government and the ruling coalition seek to swiftly gain approval for Japan's new trade agreement with the United States and to pass a bill for improving voter convenience in a possible national referendum on revising the Constitution.
   Opposition forces intend to grill the government on issues such as the gift-receiving scandal at Kansai Electric Power Co. <9503>, matters related to the consumption tax rate hike carried out at the beginning of this month, and the qualifications of new ministers appointed for the reshuffled Abe cabinet.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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