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Gist of interpellations at Lower House plenary session, Oct. 7, 2019

  • October 8, 2019
  • , Yomiuri , p. 8
  • JMH Translation

The following is the gist of the interpellations at the Lower House plenary session on Oct. 7, 2019: 


Collision of Japanese patrol ship with fishing boat


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: I have received a report that a Fisheries Agency patrol boat and a vessel thought to be of North Korean registry collided at around 9:07 this morning in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) near Yamatotai in the Sea of Japan and that the patrol boat is rescuing the (fishing boat’s) crew. We will fully investigate the details of the case. We will deal with this in a resolute manner in order to continue to prevent the illegal operation of foreign fishing vessels in our EEZ.


Japan-U.S. trade agreement


Prime Minister Abe: I have directly confirmed with U.S. President Donald Trump that no additional tariffs will be imposed on Japanese autos or auto parts while the Japan-U.S. trade agreement is implemented in good faith. I think that we have been able to achieve an outcome that serves our national interests.


Corn imports


Prime Minister Abe: I have explained to President Trump that “Japan will implement measures to secure alternative animal feed, including moving up the purchase of foreign corn, as part of our measures to address the damage caused by vermin that parasitize corn and other crops. With the implementation of this countermeasure, I anticipate that the purchase of U.S. corn will be moved up.” It is not the case that a promise or agreement has been made with the United States.


U.S. military bases in Okinawa


Prime Minister Abe: We in no way approve of the current situation where the U.S. military bases are concentrated on Okinawa. Reducing the burden on Okinawa [of hosting the bases] is a key responsibility of the government. We will do our utmost to realize the complete return of the Futenma Air Station as soon as possible by continuing to hold dialogue sessions with local residents.


Aegis Ashore


Prime Minister Abe: It is extremely regrettable that there were errors in the explanatory materials and that the [government] response to that was inappropriate, lacking a sense of urgency. However, to protect the lives of the people amid the harsh security environment absolutely requires the introduction of two Aegis Ashore systems. We will do our utmost to make it possible to give an accurate and thorough explanation to the people of Japan and the local residents by thoroughly redoing the survey. (Abridged)

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