183rd Diet, House of Representatives, Budget Committee, #5

House of Representatives, Budget Committee, #5 (February 13th, 2013)

Page 29

223 Ai Aoki

 Thank you very much.

 I’m glad to see that you have taken into account the history of the project and also the thoughts and feelings of all of us. Thank you very much.

 Time is short, but I would like to ask one more question. I’m sorry.

 I would like to ask you about childcare support.

 I believe that the Abenomics effect is gradually enriching the major corporations. In France and Sweden, childcare leave and child allowances are very generous and childcare support policies have been enhanced.

 I understand that there are various priorities, but from the standpoint of the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, do you have any thoughts on supporting the contributions of large corporations in the future to address the issue of child rearing? I would like to ask you one last question.

224 Norihisa Tamura

 As you are aware, at present, we are promoting various measures for child-rearing households, such as subsidies and subsidies for in-company day-care centers and subsidies for shorter working hours, with the cooperation of companies and others.

 At the same time, we are collecting and disseminating know-how and good examples of how companies can successfully realize such a way of working, and at the same time, we are trying to create an index for balancing work and family life, so that companies can respond to some extent based on the index. There is also a law called the Law for Measures to Support the Development of the Next Generation, which provides tax incentives for companies using the Kurumin mark.

 In the future, I would like to continue to promote this area in the form of the Forum for the Advancement of Youth and Women, while discussing various issues within the Abe Cabinet.

225 Ai Aoki

 I’m sorry, thank you very much for your time. I would like to end my question by expressing my expectations for your contribution in various ways as well as your economic activities.

 Thank you very much.

226 Ariji Yamamoto

 This concludes the questioning by Mr. Aoki.

 This concludes the general questions.     ————-

227 Ariji Yamamoto

 We will now move on to concluding questions.

 As there are questions, I will allow them one by one. Mr. Hiroshi Hase.

228 Hiroshi Hase

 This is Hase Hiroshi of the Liberal Democratic Party.

 Although this is the second largest supplementary budget ever following the supplementary budget during the Aso administration, we have secured the longest question period ever. I would like to thank all of you again for your cooperation.

 Now, I would like to ask you a few questions about the issues you will be facing during your visit to the United States, as this is your last opportunity to ask questions in the House of Representatives.

 First of all, Prime Minister Abe, this large supplementary budget is set to be approved by the House of Representatives tomorrow, and I believe that it will have an impact on the global economy, its importance, and the future direction of Japan.

 At the same time, I have been working on the Hague Convention for some time now, and I would really like to see this issue taken up as an issue, but I would like to know if you plan to put it on the agenda for the Japan-U.S. summit.  I would like to ask you about these two points.

229 Shinzo Abe

 Japan has been sinking into deflation for the past 15 years, and with the gross national income shrinking by 50 trillion yen, Japan’s national power has declined and its diplomatic power has also declined. As a result, Japan’s ability to provide assistance to developing countries has also declined.

 Therefore, Japan must break out of deflation and grow its economy. This not only means that Japan’s economy will rise, but also that Japan will make an economic contribution to the world.

 Naturally, Japan will not rely on external demand, but will also create domestic demand and effective demand to boost the economy by doing so. At the same time, Japan’s imports will increase as well. In other words, this will lead to increased economic activity in many countries, and I believe that a strong Japanese economy is exactly the situation that the world wants.

 At the same time, this will enable Japan to exert a positive influence, which will contribute to peace and stability in the Asian region. At the same time, this will enable Japan to exert a positive influence, which will contribute to peace and stability in the Asian region, and the increased presence of Japan and its assistance to developing countries will be beneficial to those developing countries, which in turn will be beneficial to the entire world.

 I would like to explain Japan’s economic policy from this perspective.

 As people come and go all over the world, they naturally fall in love and get married, and the number of international marriages has been increasing considerably.

 Unfortunately, in some cases, marriages end up breaking up, and there have been many cases of people taking their children away with them. Therefore, it is important for Japan to conclude the Hague Convention, which will enable the resolution of issues in accordance with international rules. I believe that it is important for Japan to conclude the Hague Convention, which enables the resolution of issues in accordance with international rules.

 The Government of Japan is committed to concluding the Convention as soon as possible.

 However, although the U.S. side is very interested in the Convention, it is not because the U.S. side is very interested that we will ratify the Convention. There are people who bring their children back from the U.S., but there are also people who do the opposite.

 In other words, I think that the creation of rules will be beneficial for people who are getting married across the border.

 In any case, as I said, we are now aware of the need to conclude this treaty as soon as possible.

Page 30

230 Hiroshi Hase

 Eighty-nine countries around the world have concluded the Hague Convention, and to my surprise, Japan is the only one of the eight countries participating in the G8 that has not yet done so. I am ashamed of this.

 I have repeatedly told the foreign ministers of the successive Democratic Party of Japan administrations that they should hurry up. In that sense, I think it is necessary for Japan to reach a conclusion in the Diet before this year’s summit, so I would like to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs from that perspective.

 The number of international marriages is increasing. At the same time, there are also cases of bankruptcy. In such cases, when Japanese nationals face such problems overseas, the first place they turn to is the diplomatic mission abroad. I would like to ask whether there is a sufficient legal support and consultation system in place in this regard.

 At the same time, Prime Minister Abe has visited the U.S. and made a decision, but as Foreign Minister, I would like to ask you whether you have had any discussions with the U.S. side on this matter.

 I would like to ask you two questions.

231 Fumio Kishida

 First of all, it is very important that our diplomatic missions abroad take firm action from the perspective of protecting Japanese nationals. Therefore, there will be situations where we will have to deal with various aspects of international marriages, but I think it is very important whether there are basic rules or not.

 The second point is whether there have been any consultations between Japan and the U.S. Up until now, the U.S. has often expressed its expectations for the conclusion of the agreement at summit or foreign ministers' meetings, and since the beginning of this year, the Japan-U.S. foreign ministers' meeting was held on January 18. At that time, then Secretary of State Clinton expressed her expectations for the early conclusion of the Hague Convention. This has been the case to this day.

232 Hiroshi Hase

 So, I would like to ask Mr. Tanigaki, the Minister of Justice, that you should not illegally take a child out of the country without permission in a way that violates the child’s right to custody. In the foreign press, it has been pointed out that this is kidnapping or abduction, which I find very disturbing. I would like to ask you whether the Ministry of Justice is ready to do so or not.

233 Sadakazu Tanigaki

 I would like to express my sincere respect to Director Hase, who has been working very diligently on this issue.

 As you have already pointed out, we have to create a new judicial procedure for the return of children following the breakdown of international marriages, which requires a considerable amount of system development, as you have already pointed out.

 Specifically, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be the central authority, and the family courts will be in charge of the proceedings, so we need to make sure that the organization and procedures are in place.

 We also need to collect information on the implementation of relevant laws and regulations overseas, and on the status of the Convention, and we need to share this information with the relevant organizations.

 In addition, when we start a new procedure, we have to train people to understand the new system and to operate it properly.

 In addition, we need to provide the general public with sufficient information about the system that is in place in the event of the breakdown of an international marriage.

 I believe that the Ministry of Justice must do its utmost to promote these four issues in cooperation with the respective organizations under its jurisdiction.

234 Hase Hiroshi

 I would like to ask Mr. Shimomura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

 During the first Abe administration, the Basic Education Law was completely revised. At that time, we made provisions on how home education should be. However, I do not think that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology or the government should have any authority over home education.

 As the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the government should not have any authority over family education. However, before wielding parental rights under the Civil Code, we should fulfill our responsibilities as parents, from this perspective, as this will have a great impact on our children. It may be an exaggeration to call it “parental education,” but as the government is in charge of the Basic Education Law, I think the government should have a view on how to fulfill its responsibilities as a parent.

235 Hirofumi Shimomura

 Let me answer your question.

 This issue is one that I have discussed with Commissioner Hase for a long time.

 When a husband and wife separate due to various reasons, they become strangers, but a parent and child will always be parent and child, and I think it is necessary to consider the Hague Convention from the standpoint of the child.

 In this context, I think it is necessary to clarify the rights and obligations of parents to see their children as parents until the children reach adulthood, no matter what the circumstances are, and to make it clear that they have the responsibility and the right to raise their children regardless of whether they live together or not.

 In addition, there is an obligation to take care of the child, but unfortunately, there is also the issue of sole custody, which can effectively lead to abandonment of the child if the parent does not live with the child, or even in a different country. As well as concluding the Hague Convention, it is necessary to discuss the issue of sole custody in the Civil Code, as pointed out by a member of the Committee.

 To begin with, the new amendment to the Fundamental Law of Education includes the issue of family education. In the first place, parents are responsible for raising their children, and I would like to see parents have parental authority over their own children until they reach adulthood, and I think it is very important for children to have the conditions for this. I think it is very important for the child to have the conditions for this.

236 Hase Hiroshi

 Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

237 Ariji Yamamoto

 This concludes the questioning of Mr. Hase.

 Next, Mr. Takutoshi Ishida.

238 Shigenori Ishida

 I am Shigenori Ishida of the New Komeito.

 Today, I would like to ask the Prime Minister and other ministers some closing questions.

 First of all, I would like to ask the Prime Minister that yesterday, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test. Yesterday, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test, and our party immediately issued a party statement. “The fact that North Korea conducted a nuclear test in spite of strong calls for restraint by Japan and the international community is a serious threat to the peace and stability of the international community and cannot be tolerated. I believe that the Prime Minister is of the exact same opinion.

 In particular, I would like to ask you about your own response as well as the response of the international community, and what Japan will do to create, in a sense, a siege, if you will.

comments powered by Disqus