Ordinary Diet session was extraordinary

The 154th ordinary Diet session, with an extended term to 192 days, had some outstanding numerical features as follows, according to Akahata of August 1.

Support rates for the cabinet drop by 50 percent: Support rates for the Koizumi Cabinet, which were 70 to 80 percent at its start, dropped by half during the 154th ordinary session. In June, the disapproval rate was higher than the support rate.

Six involved in graft: Three Dietmembers resigned from the Diet in relation to suspicions over graft, and three Dietmembers resigned from positions of committee chair, Upper House president, and vice ministership respectively. Diet sessions in the past have never had three members resign for graft.

135 times of news coverage of a JCP Dietmember: House of Representatives member Sasaki Kensho in his questions on February 13 on suspicions of Dietmember Suzuki Muneo over graft linked to the government-funded four Russian-held Northern Islands aid projects showed photos of the so-called "Muneo house." Since then, Sasaki was the target of intensive news coverage. He was covered 135 times in all by TV, the radio, magazines and newspapers.

18 rounds of people's sit-ins: Protesting against the bills to adversely revise the medical insurance system and planned wartime legislation, 18 rounds of people's sit-ins in front of the Diet building were staged in the 6 months. Signatures collected against the medical bills amounted to 27 million.

13 opposition bills: Through meetings of policy makers of the four opposition parties held twice a month, 13 bills were submitted to the latest session, an increase of 6 over the last year's ordinary session. One of the bills, the BSE bill, was unanimously adopted. Joint efforts were also made by the four parties through a bill for recompiling the national draft budget, and a motion of non-confidence in the Koizumi Cabinet. (end)