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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 November 14 - 20  > Upper House disapproves government proposal for panel candidates
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2007 November 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

Upper House disapproves government proposal for panel candidates

November 15, 2007
With the majority vote of the Democratic, Social Democratic, and People’s New parties, the House of Councilors on November 14 for the first time in 56 years disapproved the government proposal to appoint three governmental panel members.

Among 28 members of 14 panels and institutions that the government proposed, the House disapproved the reappointment of each candidate nominated to the Labor Insurance Appeal Committee, Transportation Council, and Pollution-Related Health Damage Compensation Grievance Board.

As the reason for its disapproval, the DPJ argued that the cases of these three nominees are regarded as “parachuting” because they formerly held positions in the government. However, this argument lacks substance since the House unanimously approved the appointment of the three nominees last time.

The DPJ from the beginning intended to use this matter to show that the party is the dominant party in the House of Councilors.

Basing judgment on the actual performance of the three nominees, the Japanese Communist Party voted in favor of their appointments.

Commenting on the JCP’s decision, JCP Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji said, “In making decisions on this matter, we do not adopt any uniform criterion such as disapproving bureaucrats or business leaders. Whether a nominee suits JCP policies is not the criterion. Whether a nominee is suitable to a particular panel in the light of the mission of the panel, whether the nominee has no conflict of interests concerning the tasks of the panel, and in the case of reappointment, whether the nominee has a good record of performance are the basis of our judgment.”

The JCP expressed disapproval to nominees of the National Public Safety Commission and five other panels.

The JCP opposed the reappointment of a member of the Radio Regulatory Council because no member raised an objection to the government proposal of ordering the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) to give priority to the issue of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese nationals on its international radio programs despite the fact that this proposal prompted strong criticism and that this would infringe on the freedom of editing programs.

The JCP also opposed the reappointment of an NHK management committee member on the grounds of his blind following of the government policy of reforming NHK. - Akahata, November 15, 2007
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