Opposition Leader Ready for General Election to Stop IR Bill

Yukio Edano, leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the top opposition leader in the nation, stated at a party meeting last Thursday that he was prepared to submit a motion of “no confidence” against the Abe Cabinet and, if necessary, to fight a snap general election in order to prevent passage of the IR Implementation Bill.

“Despite serious problems being revealed,” Edano stated, “The Abe Cabinet is pushing ahead with TPP and casinos, becoming increasingly out of control in its behavior.”

Edano suggested that before a vote on the IR Implementation Bill could be held, his party would lead the opposition in submitting a “no confidence” motion. He essentially dared the Abe government to respond by calling a snap general election, which he said he was willing to fight on those grounds.

On Saturday, Edano renewed his strong criticism of the legislative priorities of the government as follows, “For the sake of gambling, this government is willing even to ignore the voices of the families of those who are victims of overwork practices.”

The ruling coalition, meanwhile, is likely to begin the long-awaited House of Representatives deliberations on the IR Implementation Bill from Tuesday. The ruling coalition Komeito Party, which used to be a key skeptic, now appears ready to give its full support.

However, there is now less than a month remaining in the current Diet session and it seems difficult to secure passage of the IR Implementation Bill by the scheduled closing of the Diet session on June 20. There is thus discussion of extending the session by a week or so in order to assure its passage.

Overall, it appears that the IR Implementation Bill is on a similar trajectory to that of the December 2016 IR Promotion Bill: the Abe government will use its dominance of the legislature to force passage in the face of extremely fierce opposition. The bill will become law, but the general public will once again be antagonized rather than persuaded. (AGB Nippon)