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Arrogance of Abe administration marred Diet sessions in 2019

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During the past two months, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration has avoided Diet debate on some important policy issues, showing little interest in fulfilling its responsibility to explain its policy decisions and actions to the public.

The Abe administration hit a new low in its disrespect for the legislature during the extraordinary Diet session, which ended on Dec. 9.

Opposition parties jointly submitted a motion to extend the session by 40 days for further investigation into issues concerning “Sakura wo miru kai,” an annual cherry blossom-viewing event hosted by the prime minister. But the motion was voted down due to opposition from the dominant ruling coalition.

Public trust in the fairness of the government is the foundation of policy development and execution. The allegations that Abe used a tax-financed event for his personal gain should not be left unclarified.

While he made some one-sided responses to some of the issues at occasions such as Diet plenary sessions, Abe did not agree to answer face-to-face questions from opposition parties in committee sessions.

Genjiro Kaneko, a........

© The Asahi Shimbun