The Liberal Democratic Party and the Liberal Party agreed during working-level talks Friday to abolish a system in which bureaucrats answer questions in Diet deliberations instead of Cabinet ministers, beginning in the 2000 regular Diet session.

However, the two sides still differ on whether to completely ban bureaucrats from Diet debate, with the LDP trying to establish a different system whereby officials from government ministries and agencies can explain policies in the Diet.

The Liberal Party, meanwhile, wants to further limit such opportunities so that policies will be drawn up by politicians, talks were to continue Monday.

During their Friday talks, the two parties also agreed to create two additional posts within each government ministry and agency to give politicians more administrative power.

Necessary bills will be submitted to the coming Diet session starting Jan. 19, according to their agreement. But they remain apart on when to introduce the plan and how many politicians will be assigned under the new plan.

While the LDP wants to allocate two or three lawmakers to each newly-created position to assist ministers, the Liberal Party says some posts need four lawmakers.

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