In NHK’s “Nichiyo Toron” Sunday debate show, senior officials of two ruling and seven opposition parties assessed Prime Minister Abe’s recent diplomatic activities, including his bilateral talks with President Trump and other foreign leaders in Tokyo and in nations in the region. LDP Deputy Secretary General Hagiuda gave high marks to Abe’s meetings with Chinese President Xi and Premier Li as positive moves to improve Japan’s relations with China and his bilateral and multilateral meetings with the U.S. and Australian leaders as steps to apply further pressure on North Korea in a unified manner. Komeito Deputy Secretary General Saito also gave high marks to Abe by welcoming signs of improvement in the ties between Tokyo and Beijing
Democratic Party Secretary General Mashiko said that Abe should be more careful about deepening personal ties with President Trump in view of his “vulnerable” political standing at home. He also criticized Abe for making little progress on the abduction issue. While welcoming the efforts made by Abe to confirm close cooperation with the U.S., Party of Hope Secretary General Furukawa stressed the need for the GOJ to prepare contingency plans for evacuating Japanese nationals from South Korea. Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Fukuyama said he was pleased that the U.S.-Japan summit confirmed the close coordination between the two nations. However, he called on the prime minister to provide detailed explanations about his talks with President Trump, including the possibility of the U.S. taking military action against the DPRK and plans for evacuating Japanese nationals from South Korea.
Japanese Communist Party secretariat head Koike criticized Abe for “taking a dangerous path” by choosing the option of military pressure and rejecting dialogue in dealing with North Korea. He also said it is problematic that the premier promised to purchase military equipment from the United States. Social Democratic Party Secretary General Mataichi criticized the agreement reached between the U.S. and Japanese leaders to move forward with the FRF construction at Henoko.