Japan To Accelerate Talks on Smartphone Use in Diet Sessions; Part of Efforts to Promote Digitization of Lower House Affairs

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Digital minister Taro Kono answers a question while using a smartphone at the meeting of House of Councillors Budget Committee on Nov. 27. He was cautioned for violating a rule, which prompted controversy over the use of smartphones during Diet sessions.

Discussions over whether House of Representatives members will be allowed to use smartphones during Diet sessions will be accelerated, the lower house’s Committee on Rules and Administration has decided.

The committee made the decision at a directors’ meeting on Monday, as part of measures to move forward with the digitization of various affairs in the lower house.

The move was prompted by a request from some of the ruling and opposition party members in the lower house — including former Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi of the Liberal Democratic Party — to set up a subcommittee to promote digitization of Diet affairs.

In order to begin full-fledged discussions, the committee will have political parties name persons in charge of digitization.