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Abe should offer truthful answers to opposition’s tough questions

15 2 0

As the autumn extraordinary Diet session began on Oct. 4, we argued that the Abe administration should sincerely fulfill its responsibility to offer clear, honest answers to questions about its policies.

That would be a first step toward restoring the legislature’s ability to serve as an effective watchdog of the administrative branch.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s answers to questions about his policy speech to open the session, however, gave no encouraging signs of a willingness to engage in in-depth debate with opposition parties over key policy issues.

Yukio Edano, head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, asked questions on Oct. 7 about three issues: Kansai Electric Power Co. executives’ acceptance of cash and other gifts from a former influential town official, now deceased, who was a local bigwig in a town where one of the utility’s nuclear power plants is located; the education ministry’s decision to cancel a state subsidy for the Aichi Triennale 2019, an art festival in Aichi Prefecture marred by an acrimonious dispute over a politically sensitive exhibit; and Japan Broadcasting Corp.’s (NHK) questionable responses to protests from Japan Post Group over a TV program that reported on the Japan Post Insurance Co.’s inappropriate........

© The Asahi Shimbun