The following is the gist of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s responses to interpellations at the plenary session of the House of Representatives on Oct. 5, 2022:
Our economic sanctions on the DPRK have proved effective to some extent. Through close coordination between Japan and the United States as well as between Japan, the United States and South Korea, we work closely with the international community to urge North Korea to fully implement resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council and achieve the country’s denuclearization.
Weakening of yen and rising prices
To deal with the risk of rising electricity bills, we will take an unprecedented approach to directly mitigate the price burden on households and businesses. We will also take action to boost inbound tourism and leverage other advantages of the weak yen and improve the resilience of the nation’s economic structure by bringing business investment back home and increasing farm exports overseas.
New form of capitalism
We will realize both growth and sustainability by solving social challenges, such as climate change, and creating new markets. We will mobilize all policies concerning budgets, taxation and regulatory reforms to distribute the fruits of growth and pave the way to further growth.
Nuclear power stations
We expect that the restart of nuclear reactors will help ease the tight electricity supply situation and curb rising electricity prices. We will do our best to bring back seven reactors online again at the earliest possible date within the next year and beyond.
Abductions of Japanese nationals
I’m determined to meet face to face with General Secretary of the Workers Party of Korea Kim Jong-un with no conditions.
A world without nuclear weapons
We will make a realistic and practical move to realize a “world without nuclear weapons” based on the relationship of trust with our ally, the United States, and by making use of a meeting of the International Group of Eminent Persons, which will be held in Hiroshima by the end of the year.
Strengthening of defense capabilities
The members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other countries allocate money commensurate with the size of the economy to their national defense. Amid changing security environments in the international community, it makes sense to a certain degree for Japan to use gross domestic product (GDP) as a measurement [to size up defense spending] to strengthen the nation’s defense capabilities. To drastically strengthen our defense capabilities within five years, we will take an integrated and strong approach to examine things that need to be strengthened, understand how much it will cost and secure financial sources and make a final decision in the budget compilation process. I hope to present our conclusion in the formation of budgets for the next fiscal year.