The board of the Upper House Rules and Administration Committee submitted a request to the Prime Minister’s Office [Kantei] on Jan. 21, saying that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s responses to opposition questions at the Upper House plenary session are “too brief” and urging him to provide more detailed information.
The Rules and Administration Committee allocated 30 minutes for the government to respond to the questions from Shunichi Mizuoka of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, who was also given 30 minutes to ask the first questions. While Mizuoka used most of the allocated time for his questions, the government’s answers, mostly provided by the prime minister, took only about 12 minutes.
The opposition parties complained that “the government’s answers were far too brief.” The Diet interpellation was temporarily suspended while the committee’s board members discussed the matter.
The opposition camp made the same complaint again later at a committee meeting. Committee Chairman Toshiei Mizuochi said to the press: “We feel the government’s answers should be given in a way that is commensurate with questions that took 30 minutes to ask.”
Mizuochi made the request to Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary Naoki Okada via Chairman Shinsuke Suematsu of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Upper House Diet Affairs Committee. “The government will make an effort to provide more detailed explanations,” said Okada in a press briefing.