Contentious debates over increased defense spending, policies aimed at children, and extending the life of nuclear reactors are expected to mark debates between — and within — the ruling parties and the opposition in the next session of parliament beginning Monday.

The 150-day ordinary Diet session is expected to be difficult for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, whose advocacy of increased taxes to pay for a massive hike in defense spending has split his party and thrown his leadership into question.

With an eye toward April’s local elections, all parties will also be looking to use the Diet session to distinguish themselves in voters' eyes.