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Abe: Aide remains in office

Japan

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he will not dismiss his aide in charge of security issues over a controversial remark.

Yosuke Isozaki said in late July that legal stability does not matter in connection with the security bills.

A special committee of the Diet's Upper House discussed the legislation on Tuesday.

The deputy leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party, Mizuho Fukushima, said Abe should dismiss Isozaki. She asked whether Abe cannot do so because he is the first Japanese prime minister to say the use of the right to collective defense is constitutional, destroying legal stability.

Abe said Isozaki retracted his remark. He added that his government attaches importance to legal stability, and upholds the basic idea presented by the government in 1972. Abe said Isozaki fully understands this, and would never make comments that could be misunderstood. He added that Isozaki continues to serve as his aide.

Masahisa Sato of the governing Liberal Democratic Party said that in past UN peacekeeping operations, Self-Defense Force members were distressed about restrictions on their overseas missions. He said politicians are responsible for revising laws so that SDF members can fulfill their peacekeeping duties.

Abe said it is the responsibility of the executive and the legislative branches to modify laws to deal with reality.

Abe said laws should be made to meet the demands of reality before dispatching SDF members, and not the other way around.

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