Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and opposition lawmakers collided head-on in their first formal questioning session, the official kickoff for the 41-day autumn extraordinary Diet session.

The opposition camp assailed the administration over its earlier decision to reject the appointment of six academics to the Science Council of Japan during the session, which ran from Wednesday to Friday. However, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition force, also dedicated time to the government’s coronavirus measures, presenting questions and making proposals of its own.

The CDP increased its number of lawmakers this summer through a partial merger with the Democratic Party for the People. While its leader Yukio Edano did criticize Suga, his attacks were relatively measured.