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Opposition parties end 18-day Diet boycott

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and other major opposition parties returned to the proceedings of the Diet on Tuesday, following their 18-day boycott over a spate of scandals involving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration.

The government and the ruling bloc are now eager to spur Diet deliberations on key bills including work style reform legislation, ahead of the June 20 end of the current session.

“We’ll proceed with full attention as we can’t waste a single day,” Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told a party executive meeting earlier on Tuesday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, speaking at a press conference the same day, reiterated the government’s resolve to get the work style reform legislation enacted during the ongoing session.

The CDPJ and the Democratic Party for the People, a new party launched only on Monday through the merger of two opposition groups, separately submitted their own labor reform bills, both excluding a government-proposed system to exempt highly skilled specialists, such as researchers and consultants, from overtime regulations.

The opposition camp is poised to continue to grill the Abe administration over the scandals, including its alleged cronyism for school operator Kake Educational Institution, headed by a friend of the prime minister.

“We want the administration to make sincere efforts to unravel the truth behind the scandals,” said Kenta Izumi, Diet affairs chief of the Democratic Party for the People.

On Monday, the opposition camp agreed to end its boycott, after reaching a deal with the ruling coalition to hold a parliamentary hearing with Tadao Yanase, former executive secretary to Abe and currently vice minister for international affairs at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, about the Kake scandal on Thursday.Speech

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