(Tokyo Shimbun: August 8, 2015 – p. 6)
Following is the gist of interpellations at the House of Representatives Budget Committee’s intensive session:
Takeshi Shina (Democratic Party of Japan [DPJ]): Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not mention the three non-nuclear principles in his speech at the Hiroshima peace memorial ceremony on Aug. 6.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: It is a matter of course that the three non-nuclear principles remain as our national policy. I expressed Japan’s determination to lead the international community’s efforts to realize a nuclear-free world based on these principles.
Yuichiro Tamaki (DPJ): Will you mention them at the Nagasaki ceremony on Aug. 9?
Abe: A passage on “upholding the three non-nuclear principles” will be included.
Tamaki: Defense Minister Gen Nakatani has responded that in terms of legal provisions, the transport of nuclear weapons is not ruled out.
Abe: The transport of nuclear warheads is absolutely out of the question. Mr. Nakatani answered the question on a purely abstract theoretical basis.
Kazunori Yamanoi (DPJ): The security bills should be revised to ban the transport of nuclear weapons.
Abe: As a matter of policy, the transport of nuclear arms is 120% out of the question.
Junya Ogawa (DPJ): Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Lower House member Takaya Muto criticized demonstrators against the security bills as “people with extremely selfish thinking who just don’t want to go to war.”
Abe: War is illegal. A statement based on the assumption that one must participate in something illegal is mistaken.
Yoshio Maki (Japan Innovation Party): You should sack your adviser Yosuke Isozaki who claimed that legal consistency is irrelevant.
Abe: Mr. Isozaki has withdrawn and apologized for this statement that gave rise to misunderstanding.
Tamaki: Do you intend to include “aggression” in your World War II statement as stated in the expert panel’s report?
Abe: There are points on which some panel members disagree. I will read through the report carefully before drawing up the statement to reflect my thinking.
Keiichi Ishii (Komeito): The third party committee should clarify the responsibility for the new national stadium fiasco.
Abe: This issue will be investigated appropriately from an objective point of view. The committee will be asked to find out where the responsibility lies, including what happened so far. I have the ultimate responsibility for making the Olympic Games a moving experience for the people of the world. The stadium will be completed without fail by the time of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.
Ogawa: Has there been a serious investigation? Contracts (with companies) should be put on hold.
Abe: The issue was not made public until whether construction work could be completed in time (even with a review) was determined. We made this public after we were confident that this can be done.
Nobuhide Minorikawa (LDP): Explain the resolve with which you are approaching the final phase of the TPP talks.
Abe: We have reached the stage where one more ministerial meeting will produce an agreement. We would like to make every effort for an early agreement that maximizes Japan’s national interest which the Diet will be able to ratify. (Slightly abridged)