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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 October 31 - November 6  > Prime Minister and DPJ head hold talks behind closed doors
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2007 October 31 - November 6 [POLITICS]

Prime Minister and DPJ head hold talks behind closed doors

October 31, 2007
Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo and Democratic Party President Ozawa Ichiro on October 30 held one-to-one talks behind closed doors on how to deal with the controversial new anti-terrorism special measures bill to allow the Maritime Self-Defense Force to resume their refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

Emphasizing that Japan’s politics must not be locked in a stalemate in the current Diet situation in which the opposition parties hold the majority in the Upper House while the ruling camp maintains the majority in the Lower House, Fukuda asked Ozawa to cooperate in enacting the bill in the current session of the Diet. Ozawa in reply said that although there are issues on which the DPJ may cooperate, the DPJ will not support this bill and that dispatching the SDF [to Afghanistan] can be justified only within the framework set by the United Nations.

Fukuda and Ozawa agreed to hold another round of talks in early November and, for this reason, postponed the parliamentary discussion between them scheduled for October 31.

Pointing out that this amounts to secret collusion between the two party heads, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi at a press conference on the same day expressed his strong protest.

Their talks held up the opposition parties’ question time in the House of Representatives special committee for two hours. Ichida stressed that such activities seriously undermine the democratic way of Diet administration.

Ozawa has asserted that the DPJ will conduct open discussions in the Diet without holding any consultations with the ruling camp in secret. “The democratic method of Diet administration requires that each party openly express their stance on bills and give the public a chance to judge,” Ichida said.

Ichida criticized the arbitrary cancelation of the parliamentary discussion between the prime minister and the DPJ president as a form of outrageous Diet administration serving the interest of only the two parties.
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