Tokyo, Dec. 10 (Jiji Press)–Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida suggested Friday that he will not accept a request from the Science Council of Japan to appoint the six nominees rejected as SCJ members by his immediate predecessor, Yoshihiko Suga, last year.
“The prime minister at the time, who was the appointer, made the decision and the series of procedures has been completed,” Kishida said at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament.
The SCJ had compiled a request calling on Kishida to hold talks with SCJ President Takaaki Kajita.
Kishida said at the meeting, “We are communicating with the SCJ president and discussing the issue in a future-oriented manner and I hope that science and technology minister Takayuki Kobayashi will continue to work on it.”
The SCJ is a Cabinet Office affiliate that makes policy proposals to the government.
Also at the Upper House meeting, Kishida said he wants local governments to establish vaccination systems meeting the needs of each region, including mass vaccination sites, in a bid to provide third shots of COVID-19 vaccines smoothly to local residents.
The central government will help local governments to prepare their vaccination systems, he added.
Kishida also said immigration procedures for entering Japan, including quarantine and customs declaration, will be digitalized by the end of this year.
“We will improve convenience by shortening the time required for entry procedures and through other measures, assuming that all people entering Japan will use the system,” he said.
On Taiwan’s bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, Kishida said he welcomes Taiwan’s application, noting that for Japan, the self-ruled island is an extremely important partner sharing fundamental values and having close economic ties.
On China’s request to participate in the TPP, Kishida said that whether China is prepared to fully meet requirements for a high level of trade liberalization under the TPP should be examined.
After the United States abandoned the TPP in 2017, Japan currently serves as the de facto leader of the 11-nation group.