Japan's Diet Stalls after Minister's Resignation


Tokyo, Oct. 31 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, stalled on Thursday following the resignation of Katsuyuki Kawai as justice minister the same day over an alleged election law violation during his wife's House of Councillors election campaign in July.

Saying that the departures of two ministers in only a month and a half after the Sept. 11 cabinet reshuffle has created a situation equivalent to a resignation of the cabinet, the opposition parties, including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People, demanded that the budget committees of both the Upper House and the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, be convened next week for intensive talks on the scandals.

Before Kawai, Isshu Sugawara resigned as minister of economy, trade and industry only last week over a money and gift scandal.

The heads of Diet affairs from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the CDPJ and the DPFP met on and off on Thursday, but they remained apart. Talks will he held again on Friday morning.

A Lower House plenary meeting, a meeting of the chamber's Commission on the Constitution and all Upper House committee meetings scheduled for Thursday were canceled. Kawai had been slated to attend the Lower House plenary meeting, planned for debates on an amendment to the companies law. At the constitution commission meeting, open talks had been slated to take place for the first time in about two years.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press