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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008

LDP panel OKs bill for one-time holiday

Staff writer

A Liberal Democratic Party panel approved a bill Wednesday to make Nov. 12, 2009, a one-time national holiday to mark the 20th anniversary of Emperor Akihito's accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

The party plans to submit the bill during the current Diet session and is likely to get support from ruling coalition partner New Komeito as well as opposition parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan.

If Prime Minister Taro Aso doesn't dissolve the Lower House and call a snap election, the legislation is likely to be passed before the Diet adjourns Nov. 30.

Lawmakers formed a nonpartisan group last week to plan celebrations for the anniversary and agreed to submit the bill.

Members include heavyweights like former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa, New Komeito head Akihiro Ota, and Tamisuke Watanuki, leader of Kokumin Shinto (New People's Party).

There are no members from the Social Democratic Party or Japanese Communist Party among the group's members.

"Next year, the Emperor will enter a joyous point in life with the 20th anniversary of his accession and his 50th wedding anniversary," said LDP lawmaker Yoshinobu Shimamura, one of the executive members of the nonpartisan group.

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The Japan Times

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