Japan Diet Delays Start of Extra Budget Debate

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Diet Building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo (Jiji Press) — The Diet, or Japan’s parliament, on Monday delayed the start of deliberations on the government’s fiscal 2022 second supplementary budget due to Sunday’s resignation of a cabinet minister.

The House of Representatives, the Diet’s lower chamber, could not open a plenary meeting at 1 p.m. (4 a.m. GMT) as planned.

The government and ruling coalition aim to get the extra budget through the Diet this month, but it is extremely difficult for them to achieve the goal, sources familiar with the situation said.

The government submitted the 28.9-trillion-yen budget to the Diet earlier on Monday to finance its economic package chiefly designed to combat soaring prices.

Internal affairs minister Minoru Terada resigned Sunday over a political funds scandal, becoming the third member of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet to leave office in the space of less than a month.

Kishida appointed former Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto as Terada’s successor. Matsumoto told reporters that he will work to undertake the mandate given by the people.

“I take my responsibility for appointments seriously,” Kishida told reporters while referring to the series of resignations. “I’ll fulfill my duties by tackling mounting issues,” he said.

Matsumoto, elected to the Lower House for the eighth time, served as foreign minister when the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan was in power. He left the party in 2015 and joined the Liberal Democratic Party in 2017.