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Gist of PM Abe’s remarks at Lower House Budget Committee on Jan. 29

  • 2015-01-30 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: January 30, 2015 – p. 9)

 

 Security legislation

 

 Junya Ogawa (Democratic Party of Japan [DPJ]): The Self-Defense Forces (SDF) may be pulled into conflicts if it expands its scope of operations.

 

 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: The security legislation is meant to safeguard the people’s lives and happiness. If we do not take legislative measures to allow the SDF to operate, the people will suffer great damages. It is the government’s responsibility to make sure that in case it is necessary to rescue Japanese nationals, the SDF will be able to make use of its capability to engage in rescue missions with the consent of the territorial state.

 

 Textbook issue in the U.S.

 

 Tomomi Inada (Liberal Democratic Party): The depiction of the so-called comfort women in a textbook published by the major publisher McGraw-Hill in the U.S. is contrary to facts and constitutes defamation of Japan.

 

 Abe: I have seen the textbook and I was really shocked. Textbooks like this are being used in the U.S. because Japan has failed to set the record straight. The Justice Ministry’s new Litigation Bureau will make vigorous efforts to deal with such issues strategically. We would like to conduct public diplomacy strategically and effectively for the realization of Japan’s national interest.

 

 Japan-ROK relations

 

 Keiichi Ishii (Komeito): What are your thoughts on holding a Japan-ROK summit?

 

 Abe: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. I would like to make this a year befitting this momentous occasion. Talks at the summit level should take place without setting any preconditions. The door is always open for dialogue on the Japanese side.

 

 Nuclear plants, energy

 

 Sumio Mabuchi (DPJ): An end to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant is still not in sight. Are you determined to abandon the safety myth?

 

 Abe: I have to admit that we leaned on the safety myth. Some of us were not conscientious about the need to protect the people from danger in the event of accidents. We have abandoned the safety myth and are renewing safety measures every single day.

 

 Takeshi Shina (DPJ): Is it necessary to make massive allocations for energy cost measures in the supplementary budget when crude oil prices are dropping significantly?

 

 Abe: While oil prices are currently going down, the long-term trend is rising with periodic ups and downs. Japan relies on overseas sources for its energy. The budget allocations are also for the purpose of cost reduction and enhancing security. This will also contribute to regional revitalization by encouraging investment. (Slightly abridged)

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