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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nakasone blasts DPJ's 'irresponsible' foreign policy


Staff writer

Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone on Tuesday slammed the Democratic Party of Japan's foreign policies for "being irresponsible" and "lacking specifics."

On the day the Lower House was dissolved for a snap election Aug. 30, Nakasone criticized the main opposition party's tactics, including effectively killing a bill to allow inspections of vessels sailing to or from North Korea.

"It is regrettable that the bill did not clear the Diet," Nakasone told reporters, adding that Japan has a responsibility to conduct checks of ships in line with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874.

Regarding the DPJ's proposal to relocate the U.S. Futenma air station outside Okinawa, Nakasone said it was "irresponsible" that the DPJ has not indicated alternative sites.

Nakasone also claimed there are inconsistencies in the DPJ's policies, pointing out that the party has modified its position and is now unlikely to end the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, despite its previous staunch opposition.

"If that is the case, they should have agreed with the dispatch from the beginning or at least agreed to negotiate with us," he said.

"This election will decide the fate and the future of the country," Nakasone stressed, asking the public to consider the foreign policy achievements of Prime Minister Taro Aso, including the dispatch of the MSDF to an antipiracy mission off Somalia.

Later Tuesday, Nakasone left for Phuket, Thailand, to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-plus-three foreign minister's meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum, where he said Japan will call on all nations to work in line with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874 to put an end to North Korea's nuclear threat.

DPJ euphoric: Yosano

Kyodo News

Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano on Tuesday said the Democratic Party of Japan has been so carried away by euphoria at the prospect of winning the upcoming general it is too busy planning its victory celebrations rather than preparing sound policies.



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