Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Koichi Kato on Tuesday requested Lower House Speaker Soichiro Ito and Upper House President Juro Saito to extend the current Diet session, originally scheduled to end today, by eight days.

The LDP wanted the extension in order to obtain more time to deliberate on a supplementary budget bill designed to boost domestic consumption to revive the sluggish economy. It is expected that the extension will be finalized today during plenary sessions of both chambers after negotiations between the ruling party and the opposition camp in the Diet Affairs Steering committees of the two chambers.

Meanwhile, Diet affairs chiefs of three opposition parties decided that leaders of the three parties will meet today to discuss when to present a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. At the planned meeting, the heads of the Democratic Party of Japan, Shinto Heiwa (New Peace Party) and the Liberal Party will also discuss the reason for presenting the motion.

Shinto Heiwa, however, does not plan to join in submitting the motion but plans to vote for it. Since the LDP enjoys a majority in the powerful Lower House, the motion is expected to be voted down.

The DPJ, the largest opposition party, also plans to ask the Social Democratic Party and New Party Sakigake, the ex-allies of the LDP, for cooperation. However, it is unlikely that they will support the motion.

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