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Japanese Diet to end extraordinary session.


Japanese Diet to end extraordinary session.

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Photo: Getty/Anadolu Agency

The National Diet, Japan’s bicameral legislature, ends its 41-day extraordinary session today.

This session, convened 40 days after the inauguration of the new government under the Liberal Democratic Party and new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, sets the government’s policy agenda. During the session, the government pushed through bills of immediate importance. The raft of legislation included COVID-19 measures giving prefectural governors the ability to request states of emergency and national economic support for affected businesses. The Diet also considered the Economic Cooperation Agreement (EPA) between Japan and the UK.

This session will have a significant effect on Japan’s response to and economic recovery from COVID-19 as the nation faces a surge in winter cases. Record numbers of novel cases have been reported in Tokyo as recently as December 2.

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If both pieces of legislation pass, they will set up procedures for Japan to respond effectively to increasing cases across the country, and for future economic activity boosted by the EPA. Suga has decided not to extend the session, meaning any bills left on the floor will have to wait until the next ordinary Diet session opens on January 18.

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