Ldp Agrees To Fresh Diet Session Over Scandal

LDP agrees to fresh Diet session over scandal

Japan's governing Liberal Democratic Party will agree to an opposition request to hold an extra budget committee session of the Diet over an alleged influence-peddling scandal involving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The move comes after both chambers of the Diet held ad-hoc sessions on the matter on Monday, when the Diet was in recess. But Abe was attending a G20 summit in Germany and visiting other European countries.

On Thursday, the chairman of the LDP's Diet Affairs Committee, Wataru Takeshita, told reporters that Abe has agreed to attend the special session.

Takeshita said he will negotiate with the opposition bloc to equally divide the debate time between the ruling and opposition sides.
He said his party will negotiate with the major opposition Democratic Party on Friday on how to proceed with the session.

The Democratic Party's Diet affairs chief, Kazunori Yamanoi, told reporters that Abe had no choice but to agree to the opposition's request. He called Abe's decision "too late."

Yamanoi added that his party will make efforts to live up to public expectations.

Abe has been accused of using his influence to help a university operator run by a close friend gain government approval for a new veterinary school.

The Democratic Party says suspicions deepened further following Monday's discussions and had called on Abe to participate in the fresh meeting.