An extraordinary Diet session under new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to open Monday, kicking off a fierce showdown between an experienced power-broker with his own policy ambitions and opposition parties determined to paint the administration as brazen through relentless inquiries on the rejection of appointments to the Science Council of Japan.

During the 41-day session, the Suga administration will be aiming to focus on passing critical legislation — such as a trade deal with the United Kingdom and government compensation for possible health defects attributed to coronavirus vaccines — while fending off challenges on the council controversy.

“In reality, I wish I could see the differences between the ruling and the opposition parties become apparent through deliberations of each bill submitted and debates on why they are needed,” said Jun Iio, a professor of Japanese politics at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. “The ruling and opposition parties are already engaged in a faceoff and, unfortunately, I expect the Diet deliberations to be dull like with the previous Cabinet, with the opposition continuing to raise specific issues and the government continuing to reiterate the same answers.”