「参議院議員 山本太郎」オフィシャルホームページ

東京都千代田区永田町2丁目1−1 参議院議員会館302号室
電話 03-6550-0302 FAX 03-6551-0302

ENGLISH

Translated from Japanese by Hanna Kazahari

December 27, 2014

Written questions to the Cabinet with regards to Prime Minister’s “Dining” with media and industry representatives

 

Taro Yamamoto

 

Recently Japanese newspapers reported that Prime Minister Abe has had dinner with media heads such as presidents and chief editorial writers of numerous news agencies and prominent figures from television stations more than 40 times, since becoming prime minister his second term, significantly more that any prime minister before him.

 

Mr. Abe has made a priority of cultivating relations with the media, but this kind of intimate relationship between the country top official and media executives affects political neutrality and as a sign of imparity between various political factions would inevitably raise criticism in Western democracies.

 

It was also reported that Prime Minister Abe was dining with several prominent industry representatives, which raises questions about conflict of interest. This sort of controversial behavior should be honestly and sincerely explained to the citizens, and this will be the aim of my parliamentary questioning.

 

The questions are as follows:

 

  1. It was reported that Prime Minister Abe had a dinner with media representatives on December 16, 2013, ten days after the enactment of the Special Secrets Protection Bill. If this is true, please explain who organized the dinner, give the name and affiliation of that person; also please provide the names of all participants together with their professional position. Additionally please provide the total amount of the dinner cost, and if there were participants who did not pay fully for their meal, provide their names and affiliation. If Mr. Abe had a dinner at the expense of another person, please provide the name and affiliation of that person; in case Mr. Abe was the person covering dinner expenses please reveal the source of the funds used to cover the cost of the dinner. If you cannot answer these questions, please explain the reasons in a convincing way.
  2. On December 26, 2013, the day Mr. Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine for the first time since he has been appointed Prime Minister, he had a dinner with the press officials in a Japanese style restaurant in Akasaka, Tokyo. Is it true?
    If this is true, please explain who organized the dinner, give the name and affiliation of that person; also please provide the names of all participants together with their professional position. Additionally please provide the total amount of the dinner cost, and if there were participants who did not pay fully for their meal, provide their names and affiliation. If Mr. Abe had a dinner at the expense of another person, please provide the name and affiliation of that person; in case Mr. Abe was the person covering dinner expenses please reveal the source of the funds used to cover the cost of the dinner.
  1. On April 1, 2014, the consumption tax raise was announced and the newspapers reported that from the next day Prime Minister Abe was having dinners for media officials for two consecutive days. It that true?
    If this is true, please explain who organized the dinner, give the name and affiliation of that person; also please provide the names of all participants together with their professional position. Additionally please provide the total amount of the dinner cost, and if there were participants who did not pay fully for their meal, provide their names and affiliation. If Mr. Abe had a dinner at the expense of another person, please provide the name and affiliation of that person; in case Mr. Abe was the person covering dinner expenses please reveal the source of the funds used to cover the cost of the dinner.
  1. On May 15, 2014 at a special press conference Prime Minister Abe officially announced the results of a study and recommendation to introduce the right to collective self-defense, issued by a private advisory board “Council on reconstruction of the legal foundation of security”. The same evening Mr. Abe was dining with the press officials at a sushi restaurant in Nishi-Shimbashi. Is this true?
    If this is true, please explain who organized the dinner, give the name and affiliation of that person; also please provide the names of all participants together with their professional position. Additionally please provide the total amount of the dinner cost, and if there were participants who did not pay fully for their meal, provide their names and affiliation. If Mr. Abe had a dinner at the expense of another person, please provide the name and affiliation of that person; in case Mr. Abe was the person covering dinner expenses please reveal the source of the funds used to cover the cost of the dinner.
  1. There was also another report in the press that on December 16, 2014, two days after the general elections of December 14th, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe again had dinner with press officials in a sushi restaurant in Nishi-Shimbashi. Is this true?
    If this is true, please explain who organized the dinner, give the name and affiliation of that person; also please provide the names of all participants together with their professional position. Additionally please provide the total amount of the dinner cost, and if there were participants who did not pay fully for their meal, provide their names and affiliation. If Mr. Abe had a dinner at the expense of another person, please provide the name and affiliation of that person; in case Mr. Abe was the person covering dinner expenses please reveal the source of the funds used to cover the cost of the dinner.
  1. According to the newspaper report, two days after Nuclear Regulatory Commission published a review draft of the safety measures of Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd. Sendai nuclear power plant, and announced it meets the so-called “new regulatory standards”, Mr. Abe had a dinner with the chairman of Kyushu Electric Power Co.,Ltd., Masayoshi Nuki, and the chairman of Kyushu Economic Federation and brother of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, Yasushi Aso, an executive adviser of Kyushu Railway Company Susumu Ishihara and other business leaders from Kyushu. The dinner took place at a Japanese style restaurant in Hakata ward of Fukuoka City in the evening of July 18, 2014, and it has been reported that after the attendees requested an early restart of the Kyushu Electric Sendai nuclear power plant, Prime Minister Abe replied “I will see what I can do for Sendai”, as Susumu Ishihara told reporters.
    If this is true, please explain what is the meaning of Prime Minister’s statement in terms of actions the government plans to undertake. If this is not true, please elaborate on what actions will the government take to deal with the statement of Susumu Ishihara.
  1. Please express what is the government stance in respect to the politicians individually dining with corporate management, aside of the events to collect political funds, which constitutes a conflict of interest.
  2. Please demonstrate clearly that there is no conflict of interest in the relationship between promoting the restart of Sendai nuclear power plant Prime Minister Abe and the chairman of Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd..
  3. In relation to question 6, please tell me who organized the dinner on July 18,, 2014, in Hakata, give name and the affiliation of that person; also please provide the names of all participants together with their professional position. Additionally please provide the total amount of the dinner cost, and if there were participants who did not pay fully for their meal provide their names and affiliation. If Mr. Abe had a dinner at the expense of another person please provide the name and affiliation of that person, if Mr. Abe was the person covering dinner expenses please reveal the source of the funds used to cover the cost of the dinner.
  4. Please explain what is the government position on the issue of Prime Minister taking part in dinners with prominent media figures or business executives which involves conflict of interest and is funded from a cabinet reward budget. In addition please clarify whether the details of the dining’s spendings are considered a secret under the Special Secrets Protection Bill.

 

 

 

 

Abe cabinet’s Written answers to the Prime Ministers Dining” questions presented by Mr. Taro Yamamoto, a member of the House of the Councillors

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

 

In regard to questions 1 to 5 and 9

The dinners and the cost you have mentioned were not related to the government duties thus, it is difficult to provide the answers.

 

In regard to question 6

Since the actions you inquire about were undertaken as politician’s private activities, the government is not in a position to answer your question.

Please note that the matter of restarting the nuclear plants is outlined in the “Basic Energy Plan” (Cabinet’s decision from April 11, 2014), which states that, “The safety of nuclear power plants will be left to the professional judgment of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In case that the power plant meets most stringent of world regulatory standards, the restart of the power plant will be executed. At that time, the state will take lead to gain understanding and cooperation of the local authorities and other stakeholders.”

 

In regard to question 7

The exact meaning of the question is not clear; however in case the lawmakers engage in their private activities, the government is unable to provide the answers.

 

In regard to question 8

Since the meaning of the phrase “determine if this is not the conflict of interest relationship” used in your question is not clear, it is impossible to answer the question.

 

In regard to question 10

The cabinet reward budget is strictly managed by the Chief Cabinet Secretary, who is in charge of it, and makes sure the use of it is limited only to the applicable expenses. As previously, since the meaning of the phrase “details of spendings related to the dinner funded from the cabinet reward budget” used in your question is not clear, it is difficult to tell whether the Article 3 Paragraph 1 of the Special Secrets Protection Bill (Bill No.108 from 2013) applies.

 

 

 

日本語版は⇒JAPANESE VERSION

 

 

 




最新の記事

過去ログ