Japan's Diet Opens for 16-Day Extra Session

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 6 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, opened for a 16-day extraordinary session Monday, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida set to face opposition leaders for full-fledged debates on issues including the government's fiscal 2021 draft supplementary budget.

Kishida, also president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, will attend meetings of the budget committees of both Diet chambers for the first time since he took office in early October.

The 35,989.5-billion-yen supplementary budget includes spending related to a program to distribute benefits worth 100,000 yen per person aged up to 18 to child-rearing families, a key measure in the government's fresh economic stimulus package. Half of the benefits will be given in cash and the other half in the form of shopping coupons.

"We aim to have the supplementary budget enacted as early as possible (during the extra Diet session)," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference Monday morning. "We will help rebuild our country's economy, which has been hurt by the novel coronavirus crisis, and will launch a new form of capitalism," the top government spokesman said.

Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Kenta Izumi, who was elected to the post late last month, said at a meeting of the main opposition party that "we will work for the public and seek to implement one policy after another" in order to increase the number of CDP lawmakers in next summer's election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press