Makiko Tanaka’s ugly spat with LDP colleague Muneo Suzuki went international Tuesday as the ratification of three diplomatic treaties was delayed until the next Diet session due to a lack of deliberation time.

During sessions of the Lower House foreign affairs committee last week, Tanaka appeared disgusted with Suzuki’s repeated questions and asked committee chairman Ryuichi Doi to reduce Suzuki’s speaking time.

Suzuki, who is believed to wield strong influence over some Foreign Ministry officials, has been indirectly criticized by Tanaka for meddling in personnel changes, one of which she reversed after taking office in April.

The spat paralyzed the committee’s proceedings from Friday to Tuesday.

With only three days to go before the close of the current Diet session Friday, the committee directors decided Tuesday to carry over deliberations on the treaties — two investment pacts with Pakistan and Mongolia and a treaty related to the World Trade Organization — to the next Diet session, scheduled for this fall.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda apologized Tuesday on Tanaka’s behalf.

“She deeply regrets that (her attempt to avoid Suzuki’s questioning) may have violated the separation of the three powers (the executive, the legislative and the judicial),” Fukuda told board members of the Diet’s Steering Committee. “This will never happen again.”

Tanaka appeared contrite about the delayed treaties.

“I promised (Fukuda) that I will be more careful,” Tanaka told reporters after meeting with Fukuda at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence later in the day. “I am sorry. I am responsible for that.”

Suzuki is to appear again today before the foreign affairs committee.

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