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Gist of interpellations at Lower House budget committee meeting, Feb. 5, 2021

The following is the gist of interpellations at the Lower House budget committee meeting on Feb. 5, 2021:

 

Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games

 

Yasufumi Fujino (Japanese Communist Party): The government should cancel the Games.

 

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga: International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and I agreed that we will hold the Olympic Games by all means. Anti-infection measures are extremely important to hold the Games safely.

 

COVID-19 tracing app

 

Kenta Izumi (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan): A technical glitch was found in the app to notify users they’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

 

Suga: (The app) is the key to anti-infection measures. I’m deeply sorry.

 

Vaccines

 

Hideko Nishioka (Democratic Party for the People): The European Union (EU) has introduced export restrictions.

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi: We asked the EU to prevent the measure from impacting planned vaccine supplies to Japan and were told that the EU would make utmost efforts. We will work for a smooth supply of vaccines.

 

Nishioka: What is the schedule for vaccinations?

 

Suga: We are considering (starting vaccination) for senior citizens in April. But we have not finalized a schedule yet.

 

Mitsunori Okamoto (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan): Is there a possibility that vaccinations could start in May or June?  

 

Minister in charge of administrative and regulatory reform Taro Kono: We can’t say that will not be the case.

 

Wining and dining of senior MIC officials

 

Hiroyuki Moriyama (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan): Is the report (by Shukan Bunshun that the prime minister’s eldest son wined and dined) [senior officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications] true? 

 

Suga: The Internal Affairs Ministry is currently investigating. I should not get involved.

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