• Kyodo

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The Diet will convene an extraordinary session on Oct. 24, leading to the first parliamentary debates since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formed a new Cabinet after being re-elected as Liberal Democratic Party president last month, lawmakers said Wednesday.

The schedule for the debates, expected to last for one and a half months until around Dec. 10, were approved by the Cabinet, with the government planning to submit a supplementary budget of ¥935.6 billion ($8.32 billion) for fiscal 2018 on the opening day of the session.

Members of the Lower House Steering Committee agreed to hold Abe’s question-and-answer session with political party representatives on Oct. 29 and 30.

The supplementary budget that the government seeks to pass during the extraordinary session is aimed at accelerating reconstruction in areas affected by a series of natural disasters earlier this year, including torrential rain across the western part of the country.

It will also look to pass a bill to revise immigration law, aimed at boosting the number of foreign workers in Japan by introducing new statuses of residence from April to tackle a serious labor shortage.

Opposition parties are poised to grill Abe over the latest Cabinet reshuffle where he reappointed Finance Minister Taro Aso, who has been under fire over a string of scandals that hit his ministry, including document tampering and sexual harassment.

They will likely continue to question Abe over lingering allegations that government officials provided special treatment to a pair of school operators linked to him and his wife, Akie.

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