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Gist of interpellations at Upper House budget committee meeting, Feb. 28, 2022

The following is the gist of interpellations at the Upper House budget committee meeting on Feb. 28, 2022:

 

Ukraine

 

Sato Masahisa (Liberal Democratic Party): Will the government freeze the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin?  

 

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio: We will swiftly freeze his assets after confirming the situation. The invasion of Ukraine is an attempt to change the status quo by force. It must not be tolerated. We strongly condemn it.

 

Sato: What is the value of the assets held by Putin in Japan?

 

Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa: I would like to refrain from commenting on that.

 

Sato: Putin has put his nuclear forces on high alert.

 

Kishida: This is a dangerous act that only further destabilizes the situation.

 

Sato: Will the government impose additional sanctions [on Russia]?

 

Kishida: We need to consider how to act after properly confirming the outlook for the situation.

 

Sato: What is your take on negotiations on the Northern Territories?

 

Kishida: We are not in a situation where I can comment on that.

 

Sato: The government is not delivering a strong enough message [to Russia]. It should make it clear that Japan prioritizes sanctions over cooperation. The government should also declare sanctions on Belarus.

 

Kishida: [Belarus] is supporting Russia’s military actions, and we strongly condemn it. We are considering sanctions [on Belarus] and will promptly reach a conclusion.

 

Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi: We are considering measures against individuals, including high-ranking government officials [of Belarus].

 

 

Capability to attack enemy bases

 

Sato: The name given to [the capability] is important.

 

Kishida: It is a major issue that requires careful consideration in order to gain understanding of the public.

 

 

National Security Strategy

 

Tajima Maiko (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan): How will the Ukrainian situation affect the defense strategy?

 

Minister of Defense Kishi Nobuo: We will draw up the “National Security Strategy” in light of the recent invasion of Ukraine.

 

 

Japan-ROK relationship

 

Tajima: What do you think [about Japan’s relations with South Korea]?

 

Kishida: The relationship is in a very tough situation, and we can’t leave it as it is. We need to call on South Korea to respond appropriately to the issues of former requisitioned workers and former comfort women.

 

 

Nuclear sharing

 

Tajima: What is the government’s position on the “nuclear sharing” policy of deploying U.S. nuclear weapons on Japanese soil and jointly operating them?

 

Kishida: The policy is unacceptable given our country’s firm stance of maintaining the three nonnuclear principles. (Abridged)

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