The Diet on Monday convened in the shadow of the ongoing hostage crisis in the Middle East.
The killing of one Japanese hostage by Islamic State and the unknown fate of a second hostage is expected to push national security to the forefront for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The ruling Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior coalition partner, the Komeito Party, hope to submit around 70 bills during the 150-day session which ends on June 24.
Top items on the agenda are likely to be a bill on the contentious issue of reinterpreting the constitution in order to allow Japan the right of collective self-defense, legalizing casinos in Japan, regional economic revitalization, agricultural reform, promoting women’s participation in society and Japan's nuclear power policy, specifically whether to restart nuclear reactors.
Opposition parties have already indicated they will give the government a hard time on the issue of reinterpreting the constitution. The Diet session will be the first opportunity for newly elected Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leader Katsuya Okada to debate Abe.© Japan Today