The following is the gist of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s remarks to TV broadcasters on the House of Councillors election.
As one of my missions, I want to tackle constitutional amendment in my remaining term. If all Diet members have to agree to discuss constitutional amendment, they would not be able to fulfill their responsibility. In response to results of the Upper House election, I want opposition parties to sincerely face the issue of constitutional amendment.
【The possibility of being elected as president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) for the fourth time】
As the party rule clearly specifies the LDP president’s term (as three consecutive terms up to 9 years), I will comply with the rule and exert all my efforts to achieve our political goals in my remaining term. (With respect to a fourth term) I have no intention whatsoever to seek a fourth term.
【Consumption tax hike】
A consumption tax hike is necessary for building a social security system for all generations and maintaining the people’s trust in our nation. If we raise the rate of consumption tax in October [as scheduled], I can guarantee that it will not be raised again during the Abe administration.
Being unable to resolve (the issue of Japanese victims kidnapped by North Korea) is really the extremity of bitterness. I will seize every opportunity and take bold actions. In my remaining term, I want to make progress in concluding a peace treaty between Japan and Russia.
【Simultaneous election for the Lower House and the Upper House】
I’d be lying if I said I had not thought about (whether to conduct a House of Representatives election simultaneously with the scheduled House of Councillors election) at all.
【Dissolution of the House of Representatives】
Members of the House of Representatives need to constantly be vigilant. I don’t rule out the dissolution of the House of Representatives (while I am in office).