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LDP’s upper house reform bill clears committee vote

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A committee of the House of Councillors voted Wednesday to approve a bill sponsored by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to increase the number of upper house seats by six from the current 242.

The LDP plans to put the bill to a vote by the full upper house before the end of the day. The party then hopes to have the House of Representatives pass it into law by the July 22 end of the ongoing Diet session.

Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, the Democratic Party for the People and Nippon Ishin no Kai, have also submitted their own upper house election system reform bills. A similar bill has been put forward jointly by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and Kibo no To (Party of Hope).

The Komeito bill was voted down at a meeting of the upper house Special Committee on Political Ethics and Election System on Monday.

On Wednesday, the upper house panel rejected by a majority vote a no-confidence motion against its chairman, Hiroo Ishii of the LDP, submitted by opposition parties, including the Democratic Party for the People.

Meanwhile, the upper house, at a steering committee meeting, decided to skip a vote on a censure motion against Ishii that was presented by Nippon Ishin on Tuesday.

The CDPJ and other opposition parties held a meeting of their parliamentary affairs chiefs on Wednesday. Following the meeting, Kiyomi Tsujimoto of the CDPJ told reporters that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet is “the most scandal-prone in history,” expressing the opposition camp’s intention to consider submitting a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet before the July 22 end of the session.

Also on the same day, senior members of the LDP and Komeito confirmed at a meeting that the ruling bloc will work to have other remaining key legislation, including a bill to introduce integrated resorts featuring casinos, enacted soon.Speech

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