Four opposition parties agree to reject hasty discussion on wartime legislation

The four opposition parties (Japanese Communist Party, Democratic Party, Liberal Party, and Social Democratic Party) have agreed to prevent the wartime legislation from being put to a quick and limited discussion in the present extraordinary Diet session.

At the November 12 meeting held to coordinate actions on a number of important bills, four opposition party officials in charge of policy affairs decided to reject the governing party coalition's document explaining amendments to their bills on contingency legislation as the basis of parliamentary discussion.

The ruling coalition wants to get the wartime legislation discussed and enacted expeditiously in the present Diet session. After the failure to get it passed in the previous Diet session, the LDP and its coalition partners made some textual changes in the bills to make it easier to get support from the opposition parties. They presented a document concerning how the bills should be modified, but the opposition parties have agreed that the document is no more than a reference text and thus unofficial, and therefore cannot be put to parliamentary discussion.

They also agreed that the Diet should thoroughly discuss whether the Self-Defense Forces' units, now operating in the Indian Ocean under the Anti-terrorism Special Measures Law, should be extended after the operations expire in November.

On the personal information protection bill which has been carried over from the previous Diet session, the four opposition parties agreed that the bill must be completely rewritten.

The opposition parties agreed to set up teams in both houses to investigate into the scandal involving Liberal Democratic Party member Shimizu Tatsuo who is suspected of having a national political league of real estate dealers pay 100 million yen (840,000 dollars) to him as party fees for 20,000 members.

JCP Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji proposed that the four opposition parties draft a bill demanding the withdrawal of bills that would impose an extra burden of 3 trillion yen (25 billion dollars) for social services. The four opposition parties had agreed on November 8 to oppose the bills.

The meeting agreed to continue demanding intensive Budget Committee discussions on economic issues. (end)