NHK’s “Nichiyo Toron” Sunday debate show aired a discussion by policy chiefs of the ruling and opposition parties, during which they discussed North Korea, the U.S.-Japan economic dialogue, and the “anti-conspiracy bill.” LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Motegi stated that although diplomatic efforts should be made first, Japan welcomes the U.S.’s stance of taking a comprehensive approach to the DPRK by displaying its military strength to put an end to North Korea’s provocations. Komeito policy chief Ishida also welcomed the Trump administration’s policy of putting all options on the table and urged China to play a greater role. Democratic Party (DP) policy chief Ogushi insisted that it is necessary to strike a balance between dialogue and pressure in dealing with the DPRK, expressing concern that the escalating tensions could lead to an unforeseen incident on the Korean Peninsula. Kasai from the Japanese Communist Party stated that the tensions should be resolved through diplomacy.
Concerning the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue, Motegi said progress will be made in the talks between the two nations under the leadership of Vice President Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Aso. Regarding the bill to revise the Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes to criminalize acts of preparation to commit terrorism, the ruling parties argued that it is necessary for Japan to enact the bill to ratify the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. However, the DP and JCP panelists responded by saying that the existing domestic laws should be sufficient for Japan to join the convention.