(Yomiuri: February 19, 2015 – p. 11)
Following is the gist of representative interpellations at the House of Councillors plenary session on Feb. 18. Questions were asked by Mitsuhide Iwaki (Liberal Democratic Party), Natsuo Yamaguchi (Komeito), Takumi Shibata (Japan Innovation Party), Yoshiki Yamashita (Japanese Communist Party), Kota Matsuda (Assembly to Energize Japan), and Kyoko Nakayama (Party for Future Generations).
The right to collective self-defense is a right and not an obligation. It is possible to make a policy decision not to exercise such right. The exercise of this right will require prior approval by the Diet.
We will promote cooperation with the coast guards of the Asian countries in human resources development and actively undertake Self-Defense Forces capacity-building assistance projects in order to enhance the maritime security capability of the Southeast Asian countries and contribute to the stability of the international security environment.
The Diet Act stipulates that motions for constitutional amendment shall be submitted individually by subject matter. Each revision to the Constitution is of great significance, so they need to be deliberated meticulously even if this is time-consuming.
The present constitution does not take into account the recognition of marriage of same-sex couples. Whether the Constitution needs to be amended to recognize same-sex marriage is an issue that bears on the foundation of the family in Japan. It is necessary to discuss this matter very carefully.
The abduction issue is a top priority of the Abe cabinet. My strong commitment to this issue remains absolutely unchanged from last year. We will make every effort for the repatriation of all abduction victims through dialogue and pressure and by standing firm on the principle of action for action.
Reactivation of nuclear plants
We will reduce dependency on nuclear power as much as possible by realizing a thorough energy-conservation society and maximum utilization of renewable energies. On the other hand, we cannot afford to have zero nuclear plants if we are to protect the people’s livelihoods and industrial activities through a responsible energy policy. (Abridged)