For foreign minister to consider matters in the interest of the Japanese people is normal: JCP

The report that Foreign Minister Tanaka Makiko took issue with the U.S. missile defense plan (NMD) is now having repercussions in the Koizumi Cabinet.

She allegedly made the remark, which contradicted the government position, during her meeting with the Australian foreign minister on May 28.

Commenting on this discrepancy at a news conference on June 4, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi said that it is normal for Japan's foreign minister to consider matters from the Japanese people's position and have her own opinion. "What must be called into question is the government's submission to the U.S.," he added.

Ichida pointed out that Japan stands out from other U.S. allies in thinking it disrespectful to express disagreement with U.S. policy. He said, "If the foreign minister's view is not in accord with the government view, a change should be made in the government view."

Referring to Tanaka's complaint that her remarks were reported incorrectly, Ichida said that if the report about her remarks is true, it would be honest of her to admit it.

Three opposition parties, the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Party, and the Social Democratic Party called a joint news conference to announce that they will take up the question in the Diet. (end)

May 30-June 5 Contents