The Japanese Diet begins an extraordinary session
The Japanese Diet calls a special session on Monday to discuss the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and other issues.
The new diet session is scheduled to last 16 days. It will end on December 21.
On Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will deliver a political speech in both houses of the Diet after an opening ceremony.
Kishida is expected to tell lawmakers in both chambers that his government will carefully deal with the coronavirus crisis, including the new Omicron variant.
Lawmakers in both chambers will spend three days asking questions about the speech, starting Wednesday.
On Monday morning, the government submitted to the Diet a draft of its extrabudgetary plan for this exercise. Deliberations on the plan are expected to begin next week.
The government and ruling coalition parties say the budget proposal includes funds for anti-virus measures. They say it would also fund economic measures to support individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic.
The opposition camp intends to discuss issues such as anti-virus measures at points of entry and the cost of financial support worth 100,000 yen, or more than $ 800, to each person. 18 years of age or younger.
The government plans to distribute half of the support in coupons. This is expected to push up administrative costs by about 90 billion yen, or about 800 million dollars.
It will be the first time that Kishida will hold full one-on-one debates with opposition lawmakers as the country’s prime minister.