Parliamentary Schedule

January 21, 2007 12:00 AM

This year the Parliament begins on January 25. The Emperor will come to the Parliament on January 26 to officially open the session. The Emperor only comes to the Other House. He has never come to the House, though our House has a special Imperial balcony for him. The session usually starts the day after the LDP Party Convention. The LDP Convention was held on January 17 this year. If the session began on January 18, the session would end on June 16 and the voting date of the Upper House Election would be on July 15, in the middle of the three-day weekend. In order to avoid that, the first day of the session was delayed for a week this year.

The first day of the session is usually on Thursday. The Speaker assigns a seat for each MP and the House establishes the Special Committees. On Friday the Emperor comes for the official ceremony and the Prime Minister delivers his policy speech. The Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Economy also deliver policy speeches. Those four speeches are delivered in the House, and then exactly the same speeches are repeated in the Other House. There have been some attempts to change this custom so that the four Ministers can do the speech once for the both Houses, but the Upper House has always rejected the idea as they have the inferior complex. We do not mind having the speeches in the Upper House.

On Monday, the Opposition begins the Parliamentary Questions on those policy speeches. Monday and Tuesday for the House questions. Then Tuesday and Wednesday for the questions at the other House. After that the Budget Committee of the House begins on Thursday.