The following is the gist of interpellations at the House of Representatives and House of Councillors Budget Committees on May 28:
Dissolution of Lower House for general election
Upper House member Tetsuro Fukuyama (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan): If we submit a motion of no confidence on the cabinet, will you be prepared to dissolve the Lower House and face the challenge?
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: I cannot answer a hypothetical question.
Upper House member Masaru Miyazaki (Komeito): How will Japan respond to the current situation with regard to the U.S.-DPRK summit?
Abe: The U.S.-DPRK summit is an important opportunity for making progress in the nuclear and missile issues, and above all, the abduction issue. We strongly hope that a summit that will contribute to resolving various issues will take place. I am in close contact with President Trump and we are in complete agreement on our perceptions and policies. I would like to hold another teleconference with Mr. Trump as soon as possible. Japan will continue to cooperate bilaterally with the U.S. and trilaterally with the U.S. and the ROK and work together with the international community, including Russia and China, in order to draw concrete actions from North Korea toward the resolution of various issues.
Miyazaki: Were you able to confirm cooperation for North Korea’s denuclearization at the Japan-Russia summit on May 26?
Abe: I explained Japan’s longstanding position on working toward a comprehensive solution to the nuclear, missile, and abduction issues and aiming at the normalization of diplomatic relations based on the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. President Putin indicated his understanding. I also explained why the abduction issue needs to be resolved at an early date and requested his support and cooperation and was able to win his understanding. We agreed to provide support for a successful U.S.-DPRK summit from our standpoint that the implementation of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions calling for North Korea’s complete, verification, and irreversible denuclearization is important.
Upper House member Susumu Hamamura (Komeito): You met with Mr. Putin in Nagato City, Yamaguchi Prefecture 18 months ago, where you agreed on an eight-point economic cooperation plan. What were you able to confirm on this at your summit meeting?
Abe: We confirmed and welcomed progress made in the eight-point economic cooperation plan. We signed 13 documents under the plan this time. Together with about 50 new private-sector agreements, we have come up with more than 130 private sector projects, in half of which contracting and other concrete actions have been undertaken. These are significant for confidence building between the two countries and will contribute to the process of concluding a peace treaty.