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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 8 - 14  > JCP Secretariat Head Koike: freedom to pose questions and express opinions in the Diet should be guaranteed
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2017 November 8 - 14 [POLITICS]

JCP Secretariat Head Koike: freedom to pose questions and express opinions in the Diet should be guaranteed

November 14, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on November 13 held a press conference in the Diet building, and in regard to cutbacks on opposition parties' Diet interpellation time sought by the ruling camp said, "I must say that the ruling parties look like they are attempting to dodge being asked damaging questions. Prime Minister Abe and the government should be responsible and respond to the questions."

Koike noted that if the time allocation became fifty-fifty between the ruling parties and the opposition parties, the time the JCP has would be just seven or eight minutes in a House committee and only one minute would be allotted for the Social Democratic Party. Koike said, "In such a short time, how would it be possible to conduct healthy deliberations?" and criticized the ruling parties' time cut proposal for attempting to destroy the proper functioning of Diet discussions.

The government and the ruling parties dissolved the Lower House at the beginning of an extraordinary session of the Diet in September in defiance of the opposition parties' demand for the opening of the session based on Article 53 of the Constitution. Then, after the snap general election, the ruling bloc was planning to hold a special session for only eight days. However, met with strong public criticism and the united opposition parties' efforts, the government was driven to accept the call for the session to be held for 39 days. Now, they are seeking to reduce the interpellation time allotted to opposition parties.

Koike said, "Abe may not want certain questions to be asked," and added that the Rules of the House of Representatives guarantee House committee members the right to freely ask questions and express opinions on whatever agenda item under consideration.

Koike said, "Based on this principle as the Diet Act stipulates, the JCP will demand that the ruling force properly steer the Diet so that all parties can engage in serious Diet debate."

Past related articles:
> Shii: Retract gov't proposal to cut opposition parties' Diet interpellation time [November 3, 2017]
> Abe wants to stop opposition parties' pursuit of 'Moritomo' & 'Kake' scandals [October 29, 2017
November 3, 2017]
> Shii: JCP Koike: LDP’s plan to reduce oppositions’ question time is irrational [July 19, 2017]
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