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The House of Councilors re-elected Yutaka Inoue as its president and Shoji Motooka as vice president Tuesday during the first Diet session since last month’s nationwide election.

Motooka, a Democratic Party of Japan member, replaced the retiring Hisamitsu Sugano. In line with customary procedure, Motooka left the DPJ later in the day.

The extraordinary session is to run for four days.

Tuesday also saw the election of committee chairs.

Kenji Manabe of the Liberal Democratic Party was appointed head of the Budget Committee.

Four other permanent committee chairs were elected, with only minimal changes. Most of the changes were to fill positions vacated by retiring lawmakers.

The LDP’s Kimitaka Kuze, who resigned in July 2000 as chairman of the Finance Reconstruction Commission after being accused of receiving benefits from a financial firm, was elected chairman of the special committee on financial affairs.

The ruling coalition has a stable majority in the chamber following its triumph in the July 29 Upper House election. It is made up of the 116-member Liberal Democratic Party-New Conservative Party voting bloc, plus 24 New Komeito members.

The opposition camp is primarily made up of 60 DPJ members, 20 Japanese Communist Party members, eight members of the Social Democratic Party and eight Liberal Party members.

A full-scale discussion of the reform agenda of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is expected during an extraordinary Diet session to be convened in autumn.

The opposition said it will urge the ruling bloc to hold a meeting of the Budget Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee before Aug 15. to discuss Koizumi’s plans to visit Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15.

The shrine honors some 2.5 million Japanese killed in wars since the mid-19th century. Seven Class A war criminals, including wartime Prime Minister Gen. Hideki Tojo, are also enshrined there.

“We will demand (to hold such committees) to question the views of Koizumi and Foreign Minister (Makiko) Tanaka on the controversial issue,” said Hirotaka Akamatsu, a senior member of the DPJ.

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