Positive signs under PM Noda: Cross-party support welcomes extended Diet
James Jomo and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The seriousness of the current situation in Japan is abundantly clear and unlike the leadership of ex-PM Kan it seems that PM Noda seeks compromise and cross-party initiatives when applicable. Therefore, with the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) needing opposition support in order to pass a Diet bill aimed at more resources for reconstruction in the Tohoku region, a sensible agreement was made.
Opposition politicians were alarmed about the speed of the special Diet because it was argued that greater cooperation was needed. Also, opposition leaders want to investigate target areas and plans which will lead to stabilization, rejuvenation and generate a new start in certain areas.
The DPJ had originally planned to close the session after only four days but political factors made this delicate and the ruling party is constrained by not holding a majority in the Upper House.
Lower House politicians welcomed the extension because they voted unanimously for the extension to be increased to September 30. Azuma Koshiishi, DPJ Secretary General, appeared relieved after he announced that “We have come to the conclusion that the Diet session needs to be extended after consulting with Prime Minister (Yoshihiko) Noda. We’d like to hold budget committee sessions in the both chambers of the Diet during the extended session.”
The main opposition parties had wanted a full 28 day extension but the compromise was still welcomed by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito. Sadakuza Tanigaki, leader of the LDP, stated that “Finally it’s extended. I want to accept this decision positively.”
Yoshio Inoue, Secretary General of New Komeito, also welcomed the extension because he and fellow party members believe that this is a sign that PM Noda desires compromise. Under ex-PM Kan it appeared that he lacked sincerity towards the opposition and members within his own ruling party.
Also, PM Noda will have been weakened by the recent resignation in his newly elected Cabinet and compromise at this juncture is needed.