[The following is the gist of the interpellations at the Lower House Budget Committee meeting on Oct. 11, 2019.]
Purchase of U.S. corn
Hiroshi Kawauchi: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says that “no promise has been made between Japan and United States” [regarding the purchase of U.S. corn], but U.S. President Donald Trump said that “[the Japanese government] will have the private sector make purchases.”
Prime Minister Abe: At the Japan-U.S. summit meeting in August, I explained, “Japan will implement measures to secure alternative animal feed, including moving up the purchase of foreign corn, as part of our measures to address damage caused by vermin. Private companies are the ones who will make the purchases, but much of [Japan’s] feed corn is purchased from the United States. With the implementation of this countermeasure, therefore, 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 formed with the United States.
Kawauchi: After the summit meeting, Yasutoshi Nishimura, who was Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary at that time and is now Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy, said to reporters not “anticipate” but “will buy.”
Nishimura: What I said was “Much [of Japan’s feed corn] is U.S. produced, so in the end it will lead to the purchase of U.S. corn, I believe.” No promise was made to purchase corn from the United States and nothing definitive was said.
Collision of Fisheries Agency ship with DPRK fishing boat
Mitsunori Okamoto: Video footage [of the collision] is needed to make an assessment.
Prime Minister Abe: The Chief Cabinet Secretary has already spoken about this at a press conference. We are considering the matter with an eye to releasing the footage.
Okamoto: I would like to see the government release all the footage.
Prime Minister Abe: The matter is being considered with an eye toward fundamentally releasing the footage.
Japan-South Korea General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA)
Yuichi Goto: The GSOMIA will expire on Nov. 22 as a result of the unilateral announcement [of withdrawal] by the South Korean side. Matters of security and perspectives on history should be separated. Does Japan think that the GSOMIA should be continued?
Prime Minister Abe: Various events between Japan and South Korea have transpired, but the two countries have a common interest in security. I would like to see the South Korean side make a wise judgment. (Abridged)