Friday, August 29, 2008

Supermajority Override on Refueling Operations Possible without Komeito

Let’s see if I can clear out the most recent batch of otakkii clutter in my GlobalTalk 21 draft file. First up—a possible workaround for Komeito’s increasing reluctance to support a supermajority override on the counterterrorist refueling operation in the Indian Ocean (and the Persian Gulf). First, an excerpt from the Japanese Constitution:
Article 59. A bill becomes a law on passage by both Houses, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution.

2. A bill which is passed by the House of Representatives, and upon which the House of Councillors makes a decision different from that of the House of Representatives, becomes a law when passed a second time by the House of Representatives by a majority of two-thirds or more of the members present.

3. The provision of the preceding paragraph does not preclude the House of Representatives from calling for the meeting of a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law.

4. Failure by the House of Councillors to take final action within sixty (60) days after receipt of a bill passed by the House of Representatives, time in recess excepted, may be determined by the House of Representatives to constitute a rejection of the said bill by the House of Councillors.
Of the 480 seats in the Lower House, Komeito has 31. Subtracting the Komeito seats leaves 441. 2/3 of 441 equal 299.3. The LDP has 304 seats. Therefore, the LDP can override the Upper House by itself provided Komeito members absent themselves during the revote. That’s a last-resort, break-glass-in-emergency option, but it must be something that will cross the minds of coalition members as the extraordinary Diet session unfolds over the coming months.


Anonymous said...

Good point, a reason to watch for an early passage of an extension with only the LDP on board. Of course, if Komeito defects on this policy, it may be a bit harder for the parties to campaign for each other in the approaching HR election. And neither party has much room for error.

Also, I agree wholeheartedly with your point below, the US has badly managed the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Jun Okumura said...

I think I’m the first one on this planet to come up with the Komeito-plays-hooky idea, Ross. Do you think that I can get a business-model paten on it?

And I thank you for your kind comment on my take on the Russo-Georgian conflict. I desperately want to look for ways to allow both sides to climb down. The mini-cold war may be avoidable yet. The Glocom piece is a very tentative attempt to find a workaround.