Special Diet session set for July 30

Kyodo News

The ruling bloc will convene a special legislative session July 30 to fill posts needed for Diet deliberations in the wake of the Upper House election, senior lawmakers said Tuesday.

The special session will mainly be held to complete the necessary formalities after a national election, including selecting a president of the Upper House and the heads of standing committees, lawmakers in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan said.

The session will last about a week, the lawmakers said, adding they are considering convening a separate extraordinary Diet session in the fall.

Because the DPJ-Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party) ruling coalition failed to retain its Upper House majority in Sunday’s election, the lawmakers said the DPJ wants the next Diet session delayed until after the party’s presidential election in September and wants to reach out to the opposition camp.

In a related development, the Liberal Democratic Party, which fared better than the DPJ, plans to name Yoshimasa Hayashi as chairman of its Upper House caucus, replacing Hidehisa Otsuji, whose term expires in August, a senior LDP lawmaker said.

Hayashi, 49, served as defense minister, as well as state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, prior to the change of government last summer.

Elected three times in the Upper House, he is widely seen as one of the LDP’s up-and-coming leaders.

By appointing Hayashi to the post, the LDP will try to bring young blood to its leadership and enhance its influence in the chamber, the lawmaker said.