(Yomiuri: February 18, 2015 – p. 11)
Following is the gist of representative interpellations and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s responses at the plenary sessions of the House of Councillors and House of Representatives on Feb. 17. Kensei Mizote (Liberal Democratic Party [LDP]) and Akira Gunji (Democratic Party of Japan) asked questions in the Upper House, while Yoshihisa Inoue (Komeito) and Kazuo Shii (Japanese Communist Party) asked questions in the Lower House.
We are determined to cooperate with the international community in pursuing the perpetrators of this crime to bring them to justice. We will expand humanitarian aid and fulfill Japan’s obligation resolutely.
Rescue of Japanese nationals
We will take legislative action to authorize the rescue of Japanese nationals by the Self-Defense Forces with the consent of the territorial state. This will be undertaken within the bounds of police action not requiring the use of force. The criticism that this amounts to building a country that wages war overseas is off the mark.
We will make every effort to take the necessary measures, such as strengthening security at (overseas) Japanese schools and preventing terrorists from entering the country. We will not give in to terrorism and will contribute proactively to world peace and stability.
Security legislation to enable seamless response to all conceivable situations is indispensable. We will prepare the legislation in consultation with Komeito and the LDP.
Base relocation in Okinawa
The U.S. forces’ Futenma Air Station remaining in its current location must absolutely be avoided. Relocation to Henoko is the only solution that can meet the need to maintain the U.S. forces’ deterrence and remove the danger posed by the Futenma base.
The two leaders should talk candidly without setting preconditions. The door is always open for dialogue.
My heart aches for their unspeakable suffering. However, this should not be made into a political or diplomatic issue.
It is a matter of course for the national leader to pray for the souls of those who gave their precious lives for the country. Cabinet ministers are free to visit the shrine as private individuals.
Statement on 70th anniversary of end of World War II
This statement will be drafted on the premise of adhering to the overall position of past cabinets on the interpretation of history, including the Murayama Statement. I will set up an experts’ panel at an early date to discuss Japan’s role in the 21st Century.
The basic structure that was built at the time Japan was under occupation should be changed to one befitting the present situation. We must face the changes of the times and the international situation squarely and take up the challenge of reform.
Agricultural cooperative reform
We will enable motivated farmers and local agricultural cooperatives to give full play to their creativity and devote themselves to overseas marketing and other economic activities freely. I am confident that farmers will be able to increase their income if they meet the consumers’ needs.
Negotiations are in the final phase. We will pursue what best serves our national interests by protecting what needs to be protected and going on the offensive when necessary. Numerous issues still remain in the Japan-U.S. talks and we are trying to seek a middle ground.
Agriculture Minister Nishikawa
(The donation in question) is legal under the Political Funds Control Law. Politicians need to behave properly at all times. I would like (the agriculture minister) to continue to work on agricultural cooperative reform and perform his duties. (Abridged)