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Gist of interpellations at Lower House Budget Committee, Feb. 13, 2018

The following is the gist of interpellations at the House of Representatives Budget Committee on Feb. 13, 2018:


Moritomo Gakuen affair


Akira Nagatsuma (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan): Do you think Nobuhisa Sagawa (former director general of the Finance Ministry’s Financial Bureau who has been criticized for his Diet testimony on the sale of government land) is the most suitable person to be the National Tax Agency commissioner?


Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso: We have decided he is suitable to take up the post. I would like him to continue to perform his duties.


Nagatsuma: Mr. Sagawa should be asked to give an explanation.


Aso: He responded to various interpellations in his former position, but he is not in a position to answer questions on his former job as the National Tax Agency commissioner.


Masato Imai (Party of Hope): The government began to deal with the matter differently around the time Mrs. Akie Abe became the honorary principal (of the elementary school planned by Moritomo Gakuen).


Finance Ministry Financial Bureau Director General Mitsuru Ota: You claimed that our response changed from a certain point in time, but we had been working very hard on this issue even before that.


Takeshi Miyamoto (Japanese Communist Party): We demand former Moritomo Gakuen President Yasunori Kagoike and Mrs. Abe be summoned as witnesses.


Abe: It is clear from the email correspondence that my wife did not grant any favors.


Abe’s visit to ROK


Masahiko Shibayama (Liberal Democratic Party): What were you able to achieve through your visit to the ROK for the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympic Games?


Abe: I made a strong demand directly to President Kim Yong Nam of the Presidium of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly for the resolution of the abduction issue, including the repatriation of all victims. During my meeting with ROK President Moon Jae-in, I told him that with regard to the agreement on the comfort women issue, unless a leader is prepared to face criticism in making decisions, it will not be possible to build a future-oriented bilateral relationship.


Bank of Japan (BOJ) governor


Takeshi Shina (Party of Hope): Reports say Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will be reappointed.


Abe: No decision has been made. I hope the BOJ will continue to steadily implement bold monetary policies to achieve the goal of stabilizing commodity prices.




Kazuhiro Haraguchi (Group of Independents): What is your basic thinking?


Kuroda: They are not backed by any assets and are a target of speculation. Their use in account settlement is very limited. (Abridged)

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