Japan

Diet to convene extraordinary session on Oct 24

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Japan's Diet will convene an extraordinary session on Oct 24, leading to the first parliamentary debates since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formed a new cabinet following his re-election as Liberal Democratic Party president last month, lawmakers said Wednesday.

The schedule of the debates, expected to last for one and a half months until around Dec 10, were approved by the cabinet, with the government planning to submit a supplementary budget of 935.6 billion yen for fiscal 2018 on the opening day.

Members of the lower house steering committee agreed to hold Abe's question-and-answer session with political party representatives on Oct 29-30.

The supplementary budget that the government seeks to pass during the extraordinary session is aimed at accelerating reconstruction operations in areas hit by a series of natural disasters earlier this year, including torrential rain in western Japan.

It will also look to pass a bill to revise the immigration law aimed at boosting the number of foreign workers in Japan by introducing new statuses of residence from April to tackle a serious labor shortage.

Opposition parties are poised to grill Abe over the latest cabinet reshuffle, including the reappointment of Finance Minister Taro Aso, who has been under fire over a string of document tampering and sexual harassment scandals involving his ministry earlier this year.

They will likely continue to question Abe over lingering allegations that government officials provided special treatment to a pair of school operators linked to him and his wife Akie.

© KYODO

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