Diet affairs have followed a tortuous course since the Democratic Party of Japan last week rushed a bill for helping small and midsize enterprises overcome cash flow problems through the Lower House Financial Affairs Committee. The DPJ then railroaded passage of the bill at a plenary session of the Lower House. After that, members of the opposition parties refused to attend Diet deliberations. To allay this reaction, the DPJ has changed tactics and decided to normalize the Diet through consultations.

The DPJ said the curtailed deliberations and the quick vote by the committee (which took place without the consent of the opposition parties) were necessary to ensure that the bill will be enacted by the last day of the current Diet session (Nov. 30). Because the party wanted Cabinet members in December to devote themselves to compilation of the fiscal 2010 budget, it had ruled out the possibility of extending the Diet session.

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