Japan's government and ruling bloc plan to extend the ongoing parliamentary session by up to around 10 days beyond June 21 to ensure the passage of two controversial bills on tighter immigration rules and increasing the defense budget, ruling lawmakers said Tuesday.
In an attempt to block the revision bill on immigration control, the leading opposition party submitted a censure motion against Justice Minister Ken Saito, who is in charge of the legislation.
But the motion is expected to be voted down Wednesday in the upper house, controlled by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, Komeito.
The opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan also plans to submit a censure motion against Kishida's Cabinet during the Diet session over its handling of the bills. But some lawmakers say the party is carefully considering when to make such a move as it could prompt Kishida to dissolve the lower house for a snap election.
The revision bill is aimed at eliminating long-term detention in immigration facilities by promoting the deportation of foreigners who refuse to be deported, even if they are ordered to leave due to being in Japan illegally. After applying for asylum a third time, deportation to one's home country will be possible.
Opposition parties and supporters of foreigners in Japan say such applicants could face persecution and risk their lives if they are deported. They held a rally in front of the Diet Monday, urging the government to protect refugees and stop any policy that could promote discrimination.
The ruling coalition seeks to have parliament enact the bill Friday with approval by the House of Councillors, the lawmakers said.
The House of Representatives, or lower house, has already passed the bill, as well as separate legislation that will create a special pool of funds through tax hikes and other steps to substantially increase the nation's defense budget amid security issues concerning China, Russia and North Korea.
The ruling camp aims to have the bill for boosting defense spending approved by the upper chamber on June 14.