The following is the gist of interpellations at the House of Councillors Budget Committee on Mar 6:
[Consumption tax hike]
Kohei Otsuka (Democratic Party for the People): Does the prime minister still intend to increase the consumption tax rate this fall?
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: I’d like to raise the consumption tax rate in conformity with the law unless there is a crisis like the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
[China’s military spending]
Tsuneo Kitamura (Liberal Democratic Party): How will a change in the East Asian situation affect the security policy?
Abe: The international community has strong concerns over Chinese military trends along with a lack of transparency in the country’s national defense policy and military strength. We need to continue to closely monitor the situation with intense interest. (Abridged)