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Gist pf PM Abe’s responses at Lower House plenary session, Jan. 6

  • 2016-01-07 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: January 7, 2016 – p. 11)

 

 North Korea’s nuclear test

 

 This nuclear test constitutes a serious threat to Japan’s security and is absolutely unacceptable. We strongly condemn this action. It is a blatant violation of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and a grave challenge to the international nuclear nonproliferation regime. As a nonpermanent UNSC member, Japan will work with the international community to take stern measures against North Korea.

 

 Security laws

 

 The enactment of the peace and security laws in the previous regular Diet session is of great significance. I am confident that we have laid the foundation for passing on a peaceful Japan to our children and grandchildren.

 

 We have been taking all available opportunities to provide explanations to the people even after the passage of these laws. In light of Japan’s increasingly harsh security environment, I would like to continue constructive discussions on these laws with all parties clarifying their policies and positions.

 

 Futenma Air Station

 

 The most important thing is that the Futenma Air Station, which is located in the middle of an urban area with homes and schools around it, should absolutely not be allowed to remain where it is. I believe this is a common understanding between the government and Okinawa.

 

 Henoko relocation is the only solution for removing the danger posed by the Futenma base while also maintaining the deterrence provided by the U.S. forces. This position remains unchanged.

 

 TPP talks, agricultural measures

 

 As a result of the talks, Japan succeeded in securing exemption from tariff abolition for rice and other sensitive product sectors. Japan took the lead in the negotiations and was able to obtain the best results for national interest despite the very tough negotiations. I believe that the pledge made by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) before Japan entered the TPP talks has definitely been met.

 

 We have included in the supplementary budget allocations necessary to transform agriculture, forestry and fisheries into an aggressive industry. We will not support projects unrelated to making agriculture stronger. Claims that fiscal resources are being used for unproductive public work projects are totally unfounded.

 

 Constitution

 

 The LDP has been advocating constitutional revision since its founding. Needless to say, this will require the people’s understanding. We will continue to make efforts to deepen the national debate and the people’s understanding.

 

 Comfort women issue

 

 Previous cabinets have expressed apologies and remorse. This sentiment remains unchanged. We must not let our children and grandchildren and the generations after them be doomed to apologize indefinitely. The recent agreement was meant as a step to realize this determination. With the final and irreversible resolution of this issue under the bilateral agreement, Japan and the ROK shall work together to open up a new era.

 

 Japan-India nuclear agreement

 

 If India conducts nuclear tests, Japan will suspend its cooperation. While the detailed wording of the agreement is still being coordinated, India understands Japan’s position, and the recent basic agreement was based on such understanding.

 

 The agreement will ensure that India takes responsible action for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. This will effectively lead to India’s participation in the international nuclear nonproliferation regime.

 

 Counterterrorism

 

 We will provide aid for building a society that does not breed violent extremism, which is the root cause of terrorism. Japan will give full play to its strengths and make all possible nonmilitary contributions. (Abridged)

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