Opposition Lawmakers Question Abe's Middle East Diplomatic Effort

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 10 (Jiji Press)--Japanese opposition lawmakers are questioning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ability to mediate between the United States and Iran amid heightening tensions between them.

Opposition parties are poised to grill Abe and his government over the matter as well as Tokyo's plans to send Maritime Self-Defense Force troops to the Middle East during an ordinary parliamentary session set to start on Jan. 20.

"I can hardly believe the prime minister is fulfilling a mediator's role," Kazuhiro Haraguchi, parliamentary affairs chief of the Democratic Party for the People, said at a meeting of opposition lawmakers on Thursday.

Abe visited Iran in June last year, becoming the first Japanese prime minister in 41 years to set foot in the country.

In Tokyo in December, he told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that Tokyo will play as much a role as possible in easing tensions in the Middle East.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press