The following is the gist of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s responses to interpellations at the plenary session of the House of Representatives on Dec. 8, 2021:
Border measures against Omicron variant
Setting the quarantine period for those entering Japan requires measures commensurate with the risks. It should be kept in mind that this will involve major restrictions on private rights.
While countries around the world compete to secure strategic goods and acquire key technologies, we will enhance supply chain resilience and ensure the reliability of core infrastructure. We aim to submit a new bill to next year’s ordinary Diet session based on consultations with the ruling parties.
The abduction of Japanese nationals is a priority issue, and there is no time to waste in resolving it. We are working closely with the Biden administration and other related countries and are doing everything in our power not to miss any opportunity to meet in person with Chairman Kim Jong Un.
Increasing defense capabilities
The amount to be allocated for defense funding is not a foregone conclusion. We will earmark the necessary funds based on realistic discussions. We will realistically consider what is necessary to protect the lives and lifestyles of the Japanese people, and not eliminate any options, including the so-called capability to attack enemy bases.
Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is critical not only for Japan’s security but also for the stability of the international community. We continue to hope that the Taiwan issue is resolved peacefully through dialogue. This has always been our position. We will continue to monitor the situation with concern.
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is an important document that will lead to creating a world without nuclear weapons. To change the current situation requires the cooperation of nuclear states, but no nuclear powers have joined the treaty so far. Rather than handling it as an observer, we need to endeavor to persuade nuclear powers to get involved. (Abridged)