• Kyodo News


The Liberal Democratic Party sought cooperation Sunday from opposition parties to get key bills through the Diet as soon as possible.

Senior opposition leaders responded positively, which is expected to make it easier for Prime Minister Taro Aso to dissolve the Lower House soon and call a general election.

“We want to debate important bills promptly,” LDP Secretary General Hiroyuki Hosoda said on an NHK talk show.

Hosoda was referring to a bill on inspections of North Korean cargo vessels, an amendment to the Organ Transplant Law, and a bill to provide help for people not yet recognized as victims of the Minamata mercury-poisoning disease.

Later in the day, Democratic Party of Japan President Yukio Hatoyama said the DPJ is willing to end deliberations quickly on the transplant and Minamata bills, and his party “will not aimlessly prolong the deliberations” on the ship inspection bill.

Aso told Hosoda on Saturday to try to get the bills passed soon, which was widely interpreted as indicating Aso’s intention to dissolve the Lower House in mid-July for a general election.

Hosoda said on NHK that passing key bills will not necessarily be a condition for dissolving the chamber, but added, “It is the minimum responsibility of the Diet to settle (debates on the key bills).”

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