I have been attending the Budget Committee sessions in the House of Representatives almost every day. Young members of both the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party, which together form the Abe Coalition Cabinet, have been presenting convincing arguments on various issues, and I learn a lot from them. On the other hand, members of opposition parties are concentrating on accusing Prime Minister Abe of having invited a large number of supporters from his electoral district to a publicly-funded cherry-blossom viewing party held every spring, in spite of the regulation that a wide range of distinguished people in the society are to be invited. The opposition parties are already in preparation for the forthcoming election of members of the House of Representatives. I dare say that this kind of debate will not be accepted by the people.
I, together with my colleagues, attended a public hearing of the Budget Committee held at the hall of Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto Prefecture, on February 14. Prior to the hearing, we inspected the reconstruction site of Aso Ohashi Bridge which collapsed when the Kumamoto earthquake hit the area in 2016. At the public hearing, we heard about the local economic and social situations from the Governor and other key persons.