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Japan will limit the number of bills to be submitted during the upcoming regular session of parliament ahead of the Upper House election, informed sources said Thursday.

The government plans to submit 61 bills during the session from Jan. 17, slightly less than average, as it looks difficult to extend the session significantly ahead of this summer’s election.

The government will prioritize legislation on key issues that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration wants to highlight, such as bills to create an agency for children and families and enhance economic security, the sources said.

With the triennial Upper House election likely to be held on July 10, the ruling and opposition blocs are expected to engage in a war of words over various topics, such as responses to the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The government usually submits around 65 bills in a regular Diet session. But the number tends to fall in the years of Upper House elections, standing at 56 in 2016 and 57 in 2019.

“Even 61 bills are too many,” a source in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said, adding that the party has asked government agencies to lower the number further.

Legislation to revise the immigration control and refugee recognition law, which was nixed during last year’s regular session, is not included in the 61 bills.

As the legislation is expected to cause disagreement between ruling and opposition parties, there is no need to revive it before the Upper House election, a government source said.

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