Negotiations over key financial stabilization bills remained stagnant Wednesday, with the opposition camp criticizing the ruling Liberal Democratic Party for its lack of meaningful proposals.
The LDP and five opposition parties met briefly for formal negotiation talks in the evening. No notable progress was made, however, with the two sides simply agreeing to hold another round of talks later that night.
In later negotiations, the LDP was expected to formally present a new compromise proposal that incorporates many key points of the opposition’s demands.
The new proposal — unofficially introduced to the opposition camp Monday night — calls for putting the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan under public control temporarily, through government purchases of its common stock, according to LDP officials.
The issue of how to deal with the ailing bank is one of the primary areas of disagreement between the LDP and the opposition in negotiations on the bills.
LDP Secretary General Yoshiro Mori, during his meeting Wednesday with visiting U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, expressed determination to achieve a breakthrough no later than today.
Hajime Ishii of the Democratic Party of Japan, speaking at an afternoon news conference, urged Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi to take greater initiative and fully accept a financial restabilization plan put forward by the DPJ and two other opposition parties. “The LDP has come up with no meaningful proposals other than some offers that have been suggested verbally or in the form of informal memos,” he said. “We have yet to grasp exactly where the LDP stands. And I have no idea just how long this haggling will continue.”
Apart from the LTCB issue, the LDP and the opposition camp also remain far apart over how much authority should be given to the Financial Resuscitation Committee, an independent body proposed by the opposition camp.
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