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Japan PM to Suggest Bill on Suffrage for Ethnic Koreans

Posted October. 24, 2009 09:07,   


Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama yesterday said he will soon suggest a bill on giving voting rights to expats living in Japan, including ethnic Koreans.

In a news conference, he said, “The government is not yet ready to suggest the bill. It would be hard to suggest a bill at the next extra session of the Diet,” suggesting that the bill will come at the regular session in January at the earliest.

At a meeting of the leaders of the ruling Democratic Party and the government, the party`s Diet Affairs Committee Chair Kenji Yamaoka said, “The New Komeito Party plans to suggest a relevant bill. The government and the ruling party should also give responses.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano Hirofumi told a news conference after the meeting, "We’ll consider when to suggest a bill. Party members need to discuss first.”

Hatoyama last month had said after his summit with Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul that he will positively consider giving voting rights to ethnic Koreans in Japan.

Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa said, “I also agree. The party will make a decision on its policy before the regular session of the Diet next year.”