The leader of Japan's main opposition party Yukio Edano on Monday called for the immediate convening of an extraordinary parliamentary session to debate measures on the novel coronavirus pandemic, following the election of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as new president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Edano, who has been elected chief of a newly merged opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, dismissed the idea of a snap general election at which some LDP lawmakers had hinted. "Without parliamentary deliberations, we cannot meet the public mandate," he told reporters.
Suga is all but certain to become Japan's prime minister at an extraordinary session on Wednesday as the governing party controls the more powerful House of Representatives and holds a majority in the House of Councillors with its coalition partner Komeito.
Japanese Communist Party chief Kazuo Shii said at a press conference, "There is no future in continuing the path of (Prime Minister) Abe's politics, which are clearly at an impasse."
Yuichiro Tamaki, who currently heads the Democratic Party of the People, the second-largest opposition force that will be merged with the CDPJ, said it is necessary to create an environment in which the bureaucracy does not cower to the ruling party.
Tamaki, however, will not join the new party, which will be officially formed on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Nobuyuki Baba, secretary general of the Japan Innovation Party, expressed expectations of the new LDP leader, with whom he said he has a sense of affinity. "We share the same philosophy of breaking down vested interests and promoting deregulation," he said.