Opposition parties including the Democratic Party (DP) intend to focus their offensive against the Abe administration on three contentious issues for the upcoming extraordinary Diet session to be convened in September: 1) the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) that ran a deficit of 5.3 trillion yen in asset management, 2) the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement awaiting Diet approval, and 3) summoning former Economic Revitalization Minister Akira Amari, who resigned over a money scandal, as a witness at the Diet session.
On Aug. 15, Akira Koike, Head of the Secretariat, the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), made his speech at the Shinjuku JR station, calling for cooperation among opposition parties.
In preparation for questioning at the Diet sessions, the DP has established a team to investigate the GPIF’s deficit over asset management.
As for the TPP issue, as ratification by the U.S. has become uncertain, the government intends to have the Diet approve it before the U.S. presidential election in November, which, the administration believes, will help the U.S. move forward with the ratification process. On the contrary, aware of the ruling parties’ impatience, opposition parties such as the DP and the JCP may refuse to deliberate on the TPP approval on the pretext that “five critical agricultural products are not protected under the TPP as the government had promised before the negotiations.”
With regard to the Amari issue, the DP is planning to grill Amari at sessions of the House of Representatives Budget Committee by summoning him as a witness. In response to the public prosecutor’s nonprosecution decision, DP Secretary General Yukio Edano said, “It can be said that, legally, the matter was settled, but we will pursue Amari’s political responsibility.” (Abridged)