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Gist of PM Abe’s responses at Lower House interpellation, Feb. 16

  • 2015-02-17 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: February 17, 2015 – p. 11)

 

 Following is the gist of representative interpellations and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s responses at the House of Representatives plenary session on Feb. 16. Katsuya Okada (Democratic Party of Japan), Sadakazu Tanigaki (Liberal Democratic Party), and Kenji Eda (Japan Innovation Party) asked questions.

 

 Security legislation

 

 Legislation to enable a seamless response to all situations, from gray zone situations to those relating to the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, is indispensable. Dispatch of troops overseas is not allowed in general. The introduction of a conscription system is absolutely out of the question.

 

 Three new conditions for use of force

 

 The basic thinking of the constitutional interpretation that the minimum required use of force is allowed remains unchanged. This does not run counter to constitutionalism.

 

 Concrete cases

 

 The government will make objective and rational decisions based on all the information it possesses. One specific case is when a U.S. ship carrying Japanese overseas is in imminent danger of being attacked. The laying of mines in the Strait of Hormuz may trigger a serious energy crisis in Japan. Since this has vital implications for the people’s livelihoods, it may become a situation that inflicts critical damage on our country on par with an actual armed attack.

 

 SDF rear support for multinational forces

 

 I am not in favor of the idea of taking legislative action only when the need arises in the future.

 

 Collective security

 

 When Japan is using force to exercise its right to collective self-defense, even if the basis of the use of force in international law is collective security actions based on UN Security Council resolutions, the Self-Defense Forces’ operations will not be dicontinued as long as the three new conditions are met.

 

 Counterterrorism

 

 Japan will never give in to terrorism. The humanitarian aid I announced during my Middle East trip is aid to save lives. Japan will resolutely fulfill its obligations in the international community in its fight against terrorism.

 

 Review of hostage incident

 

 We would like to reach a final conclusion after listening to experts’ opinions. We will disclose information useful for future counterterrorism measures, taking into consideration intelligence restrictions and relations with foreign countries.

 

 Statement on 70th anniversary of end of WWII

 

 I intend to adhere to the overall position of past cabinets, including the Murayama Statement issued on the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.

 

 Constitution

 

 My remark that (the constitution) was a document drafted by amateurs in eight days was simply a factual statement that the draft of the constitution was drawn up by the headquarters of the Allied Forces in a very short period. I will work steadily (for constitutional revision) with the deepening of debate on this matter.

 

 Agricultural cooperative reform

 

 Agricultural cooperatives are farmers’ associations in the first place. We will review the overall agricultural cooperative system so that the expansion of the farmers’ interests will be given top priority. By giving local agricultural cooperatives the freedom to conduct economic activities, we will make every effort to increase farmers’ income.

 

 Reactivation of nuclear plants

 

 It is important to obtain the local community’s understanding. We will communicate with the local governments and other stakeholders and deal with this issue properly. There is no end or perfection in measures to prevent nuclear disasters. We will continue to improve and strengthen these measures. (Abridged)

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