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. 9, 2021:
We will concentrate our limited medical resources on handling the Omicron variant. As of Dec. 9, we have secured an additional 2,260 government-designated accommodations from Dec. 4 and now operate [a total of] 9,610 rooms. In preparation for the increase in the number of people quarantining, we are working to secure quarantine accommodations in cooperation with local governments.
Taiwan’s participation in the WHO
Japan has consistently insisted that a geographical vacuum should not be allowed to arise in the handling of international public health issues and have supported Taiwan’s observer status in the World Health Assembly. In cooperation with other countries involved, we will continue to call on the WHO [to award Taiwan observer status].
50th anniversary of the reversion of Okinawa to Japan
Thinking of the history of Okinawa, it is important to get the word out to Japanese and foreign audiences about the attractive features and potential of Okinawa. We are thinking about commemorative activities [for next year, when the prefecture marks its 50th anniversary since reversion].
Contingency in Taiwan
We are doing everything we can to be able to respond to any situation. This is only natural. One example is our Legislation for Peace and Security. We will continuously consider [additional steps] as necessary, including legislative measures.
Beijing Olympic Games
The Japanese government itself will decide at an appropriate time how it will handle the Beijing Games in light of our national interests, taking into consideration the overall situation including the aim and spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics as well as the perspective of foreign affairs.
Enemy base attack capabilities
We will consider [defense measures] from a realistic perspective, without eliminating any options, including [acquiring] the capability to attack enemy bases. We will assess responses to individual circumstances in line with the Constitution and related legislation. There has been no change to our stance of considering enemy base attack capabilities within the scope of the Constitution.
Japan-U.S. and Japan-China relations
I will visit the United States at as early a date as possible and meet with U.S. President Joe Biden. With China, Japan will insist on those things that we must insist on and aim to build a constructive and stable relationship, cooperating on shared issues while strongly requesting China to act in a responsible fashion. (Abridged)