An extraordinary session of the Diet, which started Monday, is to provide a theater for a critical political battle between the Liberal Democratic Party and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan. With the DPJ as the No. 1 party in the Upper House and the opposition camp in the majority in the second chamber, the LDP may have difficulties, especially over a bill to extended the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s antiterrorist mission in the Indian Ocean.

The opposition force in the Upper House can vote down bills passed by the the LDP-Komeito ruling coalition in the Lower House and send them back to the first chamber. Theoretically, the ruling bloc, enjoying more than two-thirds of the Lower House seats, could still enact those returned bills. To do this repeatedly, however, would be politically difficult.

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