Opposition slams LDP for refusal to open Diet

Japan's opposition parties have slammed the government and governing parties over their refusal to convene the Diet, saying they should be debating coronavirus measures.

The opposition had been demanding that the Diet convene an extraordinary session starting on September 7 to quickly draw up a supplementary budget to cover the coronavirus response.

But the government and the governing parties refused, saying there is no immediate need to do so.

On Thursday, four opposition parties lodged their protest in the form of a statement, which they handed to the main governing Liberal Democratic Party's Diet affairs chief Moriyama Hiroshi.

The opposition parties behind the statement are the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Japanese Communist Party, the Democratic Party for the People and the Social Democratic Party.

In the statement, they say the attitude of the government and the governing parties is a clear violation of the Constitution.

They say refusing to convene the Diet when lawmakers should be discussing more efficient measures to tackle the coronavirus amounts to the Diet neglecting its duty.

The Diet affairs chief of the largest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party, Azumi Jun, told reporters they wanted to admonish the LDP for engaging in a fracas over its presidential election and internal matters.

Azumi said they also called for a proper debate to be held in the Diet at a time of national crisis posed by the pandemic.

He said the government and ruling parties face a grave responsibility for the standstill in politics and the failure to implement measures to fight the pandemic.