IR Bill expected to pass House of Representatives on June 19

With the IR Implementation Bill having been rammed through the Cabinet Committee on Friday, it is now expected that it will be passed through a plenary session of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 19, over the fierce objections of opposition parties.

The Cabinet Committee session on Friday afternoon lasted less than one minute. Soon after the ruling party chairman entered the room and took his seat, opposition party members rushed forward and surrounded him in an effort to stop him from calling the vote. Ruling coalition lawmakers stood up at their seats and declared the vote taken.

The main purpose for the scene was for the opposition lawmakers to signal to the Japanese public their total rejection of the IR legislation.

The ruling coalition had intended to pass the IR Implementation Bill last Thursday, but opposition efforts to force the replacement of the Cabinet Committee chairman as well as Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii resulted in what now looks to be a five-day delay.

Wednesday, June 20, is the scheduled end of the Ordinary Diet Session, but it is widely expected that the ruling party will simply move the goalposts by extending the session. This extension may be for as much as an extra month, according to some media reports.