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Election talk must not distract lawmakers from the tasks at hand

12 1 0
25.05.2019

Political arrogance on the part of the ruling coalition, which controls an overwhelming majority in both Diet chambers, is the cause of the legislature's current inertia.

The Diet has strayed sharply from its fundamental role as the nation’s primary venue for political discourse, where parties debate key policy issues and seek public support for their agendas.

Symptomatic of the legislature’s poor performance is the seeming paralysis of the Budget Committees of both houses.

These important committees not only tackle budget bills but also a wide range of national policy issues. They often take center stage for political battles as sessions are usually attended by the prime minister and other Cabinet members, and frequently televised live.

The committees play a crucial role in monitoring and checking the executive branch of the government, but unfortunately they have effectively been thrown into recess. The Lower House Budget Committee has not held a session for 84 days, while its Upper House counterpart last met 58 days ago.

If the current regular Diet session ends on June 26 as scheduled without any more Budget Committee meetings, it will rank as having devoted the fewest number of days to........

© The Asahi Shimbun