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Gist of interpellations at Upper House Budget Committee, June 18

The following is the gist of interpellations at the House of Councillors Budget Committee on June 18:

 

North Korea issues

 

Yoshihiro Kawano (Komeito): Will you work for holding a Japan-DPRK summit?

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: A major decision will be required to resolve the abduction issue. Workers’ Party of Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un exercised leadership in realizing the U.S.-DPRK summit meeting. We would also like to have a fresh start in the Japan-North Korea relationship and resolve the abduction issue by breaking the shell of mutual distrust. In the end, I must meet face-to-face with Mr. Kim and hold a summit meeting.

 

Naoki Kazama (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan): Will a Japan-DPRK summit be held on the sidelines of international conferences in Russia or the U.S. in September?

 

Abe: I will not miss any opportunity to resolve the abduction issue. A summit meeting must be held only if it will contribute to resolving the nuclear, missile, and abduction issues.

 

Kazama: Will Japan provide economic cooperation without a solution to the abduction issue?

 

Abe: There can be no normalization of diplomatic ties and no economic cooperation will be provided without a solution to the abduction issue.

 

Aegis Ashore

 

Seiji Mataichi (Social Democratic Party): Will you not suspend the deployment of Aegis Ashore, the missile defense system against North Korea?

 

Abe: We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that hundreds of ballistic missiles capable of attacking Japan exist. It is necessary to continue to strengthen defense capabilities truly needed to protect the people.

 

(Abridged)

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