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Diet proceedings returned to normal on Wednesday after two weeks of boycott by the opposition. It was the first time in the Diet's 110-year history that a prime minister gave a policy speech in both houses of the legislature with the opposition's seats empty.
Five months earlier, the Diet produced another first of a different nature. Last August, the Diet passed a resolution calling for the opening of an International Children's Library on May 5, 2000 and designating the year 2000 as Children's Book Reading Year. A parliamentary resolution marking an entire year as one for a particular cause is without precedent in the world.
The proposed International …