The three top executives of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said Monday the party will seek cooperation from opposition parties in an extraordinary Diet session that opens Monday to have bills passed as quickly as possible.
The extra session will deal mainly with bills to stabilize the financial system, including a “bridge bank” plan to keep credit flowing to borrowers.
Yoshiro Mori, newly appointed LDP secretary general, told reporters that the party will listen to opposition parties’ proposals and possibly adopt their ideas. “Our ultimate aim is to implement measures that are good for the public,” Mori said. “If opposition parties have better ideas, the LDP is ready to listen to them and even take their ideas with an open mind.”
While the LDP holds a comfortable majority in the powerful Lower House, it falls far short in the Upper House following a devastating defeat in the July 12 election. The party must cooperate with the opposition camp to pass bills.
Yukihiko Ikeda, policy affairs chief, said he will make every effort to quickly push financial bills pass through the Diet because “the economic situation requires no delays.”
Policy affairs chief Takashi Fukaya, who has extensive experience as chairman of the Lower House Budget Committee and close connections to the opposition, said he is confident the LDP can win cooperation from the opposition. But he said it is unclear whether Diet deliberations will proceed smoothly because the opposition parties, buoyed by recent gains in the Upper House poll, are expected to pressure the new administration to dissolve the Lower House and call for a general election.
Mori also said he wants to create a system in which the LDP can follow up on ideas and measures proposed by party President Keizo Obuchi, who is almost certain to be elected prime minister in a Diet vote Thursday. Mori said, “I would like to establish a system in which the prime minister expresses ideas and proposals and the party gets down to work to realize the measures.”
LDP executives will also tackle party unity and try to mend a rift between Obuchi supporters and those critical of him and the party leadership.
Mori criticized the move by supporters of Kajiyama and Health and Welfare Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who was also a presidential candidate, saying they should now help Obuchi.
“The presidential election was a process of selecting our new leader,” Mori said. “When it is finished, party members should be united and support the one who is elected. “If it leaves some rifts, the party will lose the trust of the public.”
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