The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday proposed that an extraordinary Diet session last for 70 days, from Thursday until Oct. 7, to discuss the urgent task of stabilizing the fragile financial sector and other issues.

The proposal was made at separate meetings of directors on the boards of the both Lower and Upper Houses’s steering committees. Although the opposition parties agreed to convene the Diet session on Thursday, they refused to reply to the proposed length of the session at the meetings.

On the first day of the Diet session, Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi, who won the LDP’s presidential election on Friday, is almost certain to be elected prime minister to replace Ryutaro Hashimoto because the LDP holds a comfortable majority in the more powerful Lower House.

Before the new premier is elected, the president and vice president of the House of Councilors are scheduled to be elected and the lineup of the Upper House’s committees decided. After he is elected prime minister, Obuchi will form his first Cabinet later in the day, party officials said.

At the meeting, the LDP also proposed the setting up of two special committees in the Lower House, one to deal with the financial problems and another to deal with political ethics, LDP officials said. But no agreement was reached on this proposal.

Among legislation to be deliberated at the extraordinary Diet session are bills aimed at:

1) resolving the bad-loan mess weighing down the banking system;

2) coping with the 28 trillion yen in debts of the now-defunct Japanese National Railways;

3) further stimulating the economy.

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