The following is the gist of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s responses to interpellations at the plenary session of the House of Councillors on Dec. 10, 2021:
We are taking such precautionary border measures as halting the entry of all foreign nationals to Japan. We have also secured hospital beds to admit about 37,000 patients to hospitals, which is 10,000 more than last summer. As for medical workers, hospitals across the nation have coordinated to send around 3,000 doctors and as many nurses to other facilities. By later this year, we aim to approve the use of an oral drug, which will be the trump card in our COVID-19 countermeasures. We will swiftly deliver the drug to medical institutions once it is approved.
Abolition of nuclear weapons
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is an important treaty, but not one nuclear state has joined the treaty. We will urge nuclear powers to get involved [in the treaty].
Promotion of agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries
We will create farm areas where agricultural products are grown with less chemical fertilizers or organically. We will start considering developing the necessary legislation to support technological development.
U.S. military’s F-16 fighters
It is extremely regrettable that flights have been resumed without an explanation of security measures [taken].
Strengthening of defense capabilities
We will drastically build up our defense capabilities. We earmarked the costs necessary for matters of great urgency in the supplementary budget in order to quickly respond to the changing international situation. (Abridged)