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Japan to hold extraordinary Diet session for 67 days from Friday

Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- An extraordinary Diet session will run for 67 days from Friday to Dec. 9, a senior ruling party lawmaker said Monday.

    During the session, the government plans to seek parliamentary approval for a Japan-U.S. trade agreement reached last week to cut tariffs on farm and industrial goods.

    The ruling and opposition parties are also expected to take up the country's consumption tax hike from 8 percent to 10 percent on Tuesday and its impact on the economy.

    As the session is the first since the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito secured a solid win in the upper house election in July, the focus is also on whether the ruling coalition can move forward a parliamentary debate on amending the pacifist Constitution for the first time since it took effect in 1947.

    "In the upcoming Diet session, we hope to fulfill our mandate given in the upper house election," LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai said at a press conference.

    On constitutional reform, Nikai said cooperation from each party is necessary for a parliamentary debate on the matter to progress. Pro-amendment forces, including the LDP, lost the two-thirds majority needed to begin any revision process in the House of Councillors following the July election, though they have such a majority in the House of Representatives.

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