To approve contentious immigration measure, Japan governing coalition would prolong parliament 2023

The central government and governing coalition want to prolong the existing parliamentary session by up to 10 days beyond June 21 to approve controversial laws on harsher immigration regulations and defense budget increases, ruling MPs said Tuesday.

“We’d like to pass as many bills as possible by the end of the session,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said a liaison meeting between the administration and the governing coalition Tuesday.

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan submitted a censure motion against Justice Minister Ken Saito, who is in charge of the immigration reform bill, but the Upper House, controlled by Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, Komeito, rejected it Wednesday.

The CDP aims to condemn Kishida’s Cabinet for its handling of the measures during the legislative session. Some legislators think the party is cautious because it might encourage Kishida to dissolve the Lower House for a quick election.

An informed source claimed LDP Vice President Taro Aso warned party secretary-general Toshimitsu Motegi over dinner on Monday that dissolving the Lower House may be premature.

The opposition’s worries are tightening critical bill debates.

By making it simpler to expel foreign nationals in Japan unlawfully who oppose deportation, the revised bill aims to end long-term imprisonment in immigration facilities. Three-time asylum seekers can be deported under the law.

Opposition parties and advocates of foreign nationals in Japan warn deporting such applications might endanger their lives. On Monday, they rallied outside the Diet building to urge the government to protect refugees and end discriminatory policies.

“We want to scrap the bill by drawing as much public attention as possible,” CDP leader Kenta Izumi stated at a party meeting Tuesday.

LDP Upper House Secretary-General Hiroshige Seko blasted the CDP for creating a schedule dispute.

After House of Councillors approval, politicians indicated the ruling coalition wants parliament to pass the bill Friday.

The House of Representatives has passed the bill and related legislation that would create a special pool of cash through tax rises and other measures to dramatically expand the nation’s defense budget amid security worries in a region that includes China, Russia, and North Korea.

The ruling party wants the upper house to adopt the defense funding measure on June 14.

If the CDP files motions against committee head Yasuyuki Sakai and Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki, the bill’s enactment might be delayed by one or more weeks as opposition parties try to block it.

In addition to those two difficult laws, the LDP and Komeito want LGBTQ-friendly bills to pass the Diet this year. Wednesday’s agreement between the ruling parties’ secretaries-general ensured that.

Japan has been under pressure to preserve LGBTQ rights as it lags behind other G7 nations.

The ruling alliance introduced the law to parliament on May 18, a day before the G-7 conference in Hiroshima. Conservative LDP members opposed the language for months before the submission.

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