Asia

Japan parliament brawl over labour law

Hiromichi Watanabe (C), chairman of Lower House's Labour committee, surrounded by the Diet guard, tussles with opposition lawmakers as he opens the committee session to pass a controversial bill to revise the worker dispatch law at the National Diet in Tokyo on 12 June, 2015. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The leader of the opposition said MPs "couldn't help" scuffling with Hiromichi Watanabe

Scuffles broke out in the Japanese parliament on Friday over a controversial law on temporary workers.

Japan's government wants to bring in a three-year limit on temporary workers.

But the opposition objects, saying the law will allow businesses to fire temporary workers after three years instead of hiring them.

Opposition MPs clashed with Hiromichi Watanabe, the head of the welfare and labour committee in the lower house, and tried to grab his speech.

They tried to push their way towards him as he attempted to end discussion.

Katsuya Okada, the head of the opposition Democratic Party, said they "couldn't help but resort to such action" because the governing Liberal Democratic Party was trying to "ram" the measure through.

A vote on the bill was postponed until next week.

Fights in Japan's parliament are rare, although one in May 1960 involved at least 300 Japanese MPs.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Mr Watanabe was later seen in a neck brace

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