The opposition parties continued Monday their boycott of all Diet debate following the ruling coalition’s approval of the Self-Defense Forces dispatch to Iraq, effectively putting House of Councilors deliberations on hold.

The Upper House Budget Committee, scheduled to convene at 9 a.m. to discuss the fiscal 2003 supplementary budget, never started debate because opposition lawmakers refused to attend. The extra budget includes an outlay of 118.8 billion yen to support Iraq’s postwar rehabilitation.

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