Diet will convene on Jan. 28

Kyodo

The new Liberal Democratic Party-led government is looking to convene the annual 150-day regular Diet session on Jan. 28, a senior LDP lawmaker said Friday.

Tsutomu Sato, who serves as deputy head of the party’s Diet affairs committee, unveiled the timing to reporters.

Originally, the government and ruling party intended to convene the regular Diet session on Jan. 21, but decided to postpone it to Jan. 28 because Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to visit the United States in January and a package of tax reform plans for fiscal 2013 is expected to be worked out around Jan. 24, political sources said.

The tax reform package will be the basis for the fiscal 2013 budget.

If the regular session is convened Jan. 28, it would close June 26 unless extended. In that case, the next House of Councilors election would be held July 21. Half the 242 seats of the Upper House will be up for grabs.

The LDP government plans to submit to the Diet a fiscal 2012 supplementary budget at the end of January and to secure legislative approval of it at an early date.

Issues to be deliberated in the next regular Diet session include the fiscal 2012 extra budget, the fiscal 2013 budget and the nomination of the next Bank of Japan governor. Incumbent BOJ Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa’s five-year term ends in April.