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Parties united in condemning North Korean missile launch

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Liberal Democratic Party members attend a meeting about North Korean nuclear testing and missile issues at the party’s headquarters on Wednesday

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe ruling and opposition parties were unanimous in denouncing North Korea after it fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday. As the situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula becomes increasingly tense, the political parties are becoming more worried about what might unfold. The Diet plans to soon adopt a resolution criticizing North Korea over the launch, and there are growing calls from the opposition camp for intensive discussions on the issue in the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

On Wednesday morning, the Liberal Democratic Party convened an emergency board meeting of its headquarters for countermeasures on the North Korean nuclear testing and missile issues, at party headquarters.

“The provocation was clearly made with the U.S. mainland in mind. There is absolutely no telling how this situation will develop,” LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai said, his sense of urgency apparent. Later at the countermeasures headquarters, some lawmakers called for the government’s missile warning system to be strengthened.

Junior coalition partner Komeito also held a meeting of its countermeasures headquarters. Komeito Secretary General Yoshihisa Inoue severely criticized North Korea, saying its “repeated provocations are completely unacceptable.”

The secretaries general and Diet affairs committee chiefs of the LDP and Komeito held talks in Tokyo and agreed on a plan to seek the adoption of a resolution condemning North Korea during the current Diet session. Opposition parties are expected to support the plan, and the lower house likely will adopt the resolution on Tuesday.

Opposition parties also castigated North Korea and called for pressure on that nation to be ratcheted up. “This is an act that North Korea has seemingly taken to close the door to dialogue,” Kibo no To (Party of Hope) leader Yuichiro Tamaki said to reporters at the Diet. Although Tamaki praised the government for “grasping the situation rather quickly” and swiftly responding, he also called for “necessary information” to be released to the public.

In off-the-cuff remarks, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan policy chief Akira Nagatsuma said, “The government should calmly exercise its diplomatic power and do everything it can to strengthen pressure [on North Korea] and ensure tough sanctions are truly effective.”

Japanese Communist Party Chair Kazuo Shii showed concern over possible U.S. military action against North Korea. “We call on all nations involved in this issue to refrain from military actions that could exacerbate tensions. It is imperative that both the United States and North Korea engage in bilateral dialogue,” Shii said.

On Wednesday, Diet affairs committee chiefs of six opposition parties, including the CDPJ, held talks and agreed to call for the lower house Budget Committee to quickly start intensive discussions on the ballistic missile launch. After meeting with CDPJ diet affairs committee chair Kiyomi Tsujimoto, LDP counterpart Hiroshi Moriyama showed reluctance to support that plan due to a congested Diet schedule until the current session ends on Dec. 9.Speech

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