The following is the gist of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s responses to interpellations at the plenary sessions of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors on Jan. 20, 2022:
Japan-U.S. summit meeting
I will confirm [with President Biden] that we will deepen cooperation to solve such global issues as further strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance and realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific and a world without nuclear weapons. I want to use the summit as an opportunity to push the Japan-U.S. alliance to new heights.
Relocation of Futenma air base
We must prevent the Futenma air base, which is said to be the most dangerous [air base] in the world, from becoming a permanent fixture and continuing to pose a risk. The local communities share the same understanding. Steadily moving forward the construction will lead to the earliest full return of the Futenma airfield and the removal of the danger.
There are various problems between the neighboring countries of Japan and China. The unilateral attempt to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas, including the situation of the Senkaku Islands, and the expanded and accelerated military activities near our country pose strong security concerns to the region including Japan and the international community. I will say to China the things that need to be said and strongly urge the country to act responsibly.
Situation in Taiwan
As I said in my latest policy speech, I will continue to hold dialogue with China to discuss various concerns, including the situation surrounding the Taiwan Strait. Based on the Japanese government’s stance of maintaining working relations with Taiwan on a non-governmental basis, I would like to further deepen bilateral cooperation and exchanges.
Realistic diplomacy for a new era
I will conduct a diplomacy that is tough and embraces a thorough pragmatism while firmly holding up ideals amid an international situation that is becoming increasingly severe and complicated due to rapid changes in the security environment and the strained relations between the U.S. and China. That is a realistic diplomacy for a new era.
Enemy base attack capabilities
Technology related to hypersonic weapons as well as missiles with irregular trajectories is advancing at a rapid pace. I will consider how to respond to this in a realistic fashion without eliminating any options, including gaining the so-called capabilities to attack enemy bases. (Abridged)