• Jiji

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An opposition party executive expressed readiness on Sunday to submit a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga if the leader refuses to extend the current session of the Diet, even if the motion risks prompting a general election.

If Suga rejects opposition calls for an extension of the parliamentary session, which is scheduled to end Wednesday, “we will submit a no-confidence motion, fully prepared to face the possibility of the House of Representatives being dissolved,” Tetsuro Fukuyama, secretary-general of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said on a television debate program.

Seiko Noda, executive acting secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, countered, saying, “It’s not that we can get many things done if the Diet is in session.”

On a Lower House dissolution for an election, Noda said, “We don’t want it very much as the novel coronavirus epidemic may become more serious again.”

Keiichi Ishii, secretary-general of Komeito, the junior coalition partner of the LDP, said he sees no need to extend the parliamentary session, noting that enactment of key legislation is in sight.

The ruling coalition will quietly vote down a no-confidence motion, he said.

Representatives of other opposition parties who attended the TV program called for an extension of the parliamentary session.

Akira Koike, head of the secretariat of the Japanese Communist Party, stressed the need to extend the session for three months. If not given opportunities to discuss measures against the coronavirus and whether the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games should be held this summer as planned, “we won’t be able to fulfill our responsibilities for the people,” he said.

Kazuya Shinba, secretary-general of the Democratic Party for the People, said a vacuum in policy formulation will cause a big problem. “We need to be determined to submit a no-confidence motion for the sake of the public,” he said.

Nobuyuki Baba, secretary-general of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), also sought an extension of the parliamentary session, but questioned the advisability of submitting a no-confidence motion in response to the rejection of an extension.

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