During NHK’s “Nichiyo Toron” Sunday debate show, LDP Deputy Secretary General Nishimura, Komeito Deputy Secretary General Saito, and Secretary General Nakano of the Party for Japanese Kokoro stressed the need to enact the bill aimed at making Japan’s pension system sustainable that was endorsed by the Lower House on Nov. 29. While supporting the bill, Nippon Ishin Secretary General Baba stressed the need for drastic reform of the existing pension system. However, Democratic Party (DP) Deputy Secretary General Tamaki, Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Secretariat Head Koike, and Social Democratic Party (SDP) Secretary General Mataichi expressed opposition to the bill.
Concerning the TPP ratification and related bills, the ruling lawmakers emphasized that it is necessary for Japan to demonstrate to the international community its determination to uphold free trade by approving the TPP agreement. The panelists from Nippon Ishin and the Party for Japanese Kokoro supported the Abe administration’s efforts to ratify the accord. However, the panelists from the DP and SDP argued that Japan should suspend its decision on ratifying the TPP agreement until President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. The JCP’s Koike expressed opposition to the TPP.
With regard to the integrated resort bill aimed at legalizing casinos that cleared a Lower House committee on Dec. 2, the DP’s Tamaki called for additional Diet deliberations, while the JCP’s Koike expressed opposition to the bill. The participants from Nippon Ishin and the Party for Japanese Kokoro expressed support for the bill. Komeito’s Saito admitted that there are different views on the bill within the party.
About the upcoming bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Putin, the LDP’s Nishimura expressed hope that progress will be made in their talks on a peace treaty. The DP’s Tamaki insisted that Japan should not compromise on its claim to all four islands before it provides economic assistance to Moscow.