Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

Speaking out

Tadae Takubo

【#960】Japanese Parliament Lacks Intelligence and Morals

Tadae Takubo / 2022.09.14 (Wed)

September 12, 2022

Hearing that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida would attend special committee meetings of the in-recess Diet and answer questions from representatives of major parties including the largest opposition party leader Kenta Izumi on September 8, I watched television. A desperate anger I felt then is still lingering. Even after the person who had been Japan’s top leader until recently was assassinated in a public place in the light of day, the politicians failed to address Japan’s way of being and ended up consuming precious time on discussing trivial, minor issues.

Where is lamentation over Abe’s death?

I was watching TV in 1960 when Japan Socialist Party leader Inejiro Asanuma, a politician who was ill regarded by conservatives but dominantly popular among the general public, was stabbed to death during campaign speeches at the Hibiya Public Hall in Tokyo. At the Diet, then Prime Minister and Liberal Democratic Party leader Hayato Ikeda who delivered a eulogy haltingly read a superb passage beginning with “Numa is a speaking peasant.” The speech by Ikeda known as a poor speaker sounded poignant and plaintive. That is why the speech has been handed down till now. The human spirit of fair play might have existed in those days beyond the confrontation between the ruling and the opposition parties. We now lack such spirit.

Did anybody feel the sentiment of lamentation or the sorrow of parting devoted to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was shot to death from the exchange between Kishida and Izumi or any other representatives? While one side questioned what procedures the government took for a state funeral for Abe, how it estimated costs for the funeral and how relations were between Abe and the former Unification Church, the other side made apologetic answers. The focus of discussions at the Diet completely transitioned from Abe to the state funeral and the former Unification Church. Do foreign countries respect the Japanese parliament that consumes precious time on this kind of petty topics?

Concern on invasion of freedom of religion

News media report as if Abe had close relations with the former Unification Church. But damage from a fraudulent way of business by the former Unification Church seems to have declined substantially under the Abe administration through two legislative actions to suppress such business. How do critics interpret this decline?

LDP Secretary General Toshimitu Motegi said: “We take a serious view of the results (of a survey on relations between LDP lawmakers and the former Unification Church). We frankly reflect on the results and take every possible measure to ensure that LDP lawmakers have no relationship with the former Unification Church.” What kind of promise to have no relation with the former Unification Church does he intend to take from LDP lawmakers? The Motegi remark may run counter to the Constitution’s Article 20: “Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all.” Motegi might have made the remark in a simple bid to play to public opinion. But the remark could be related to religions in the world. How did he recognize the graveness of the remark?

In an ostentatious manner, Russia has recently conducted the large-scale quadrennial Vostok military exercise in Siberia and the Far East, including Japan’s inherent islands of Etorofu and Kunashiri. As in the past, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno reiterated the Russian exercise on Japan’s Northern Territories as extremely regrettable. Most of Diet lawmakers may be indifferent to the exercise. The Japanese parliament that lacks intelligence, morals and courage is a symbol of Japan’s postwar regime.

Tadae Takubo is Vice President, Japan Institute for National Fundamentals, and a professor emeritus at Kyorin University.