Kishida Gives Instruction following Mount Aso Eruption

Society

Tokyo, Oct. 20 (Jiji Press)--Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday instructed the government to put the top priority on protecting human life, following an eruption of Mount Aso in southwestern Japan.

Kishida gave the order while he was absent from the prime minister's office in Tokyo, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.

Kishida was visiting Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, on a campaign tour for the Oct. 31 election of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

"We're having the Self-Defense Forces, police and fire authorities respond flexibly, while putting the top priority on protecting human life and communicating closely with local governments," Matsuno told reporters.

On Tuesday, both Kishida and Matsuno were away from Tokyo when North Korea carried out a ballistic missile launch. Kishida drew concerns and criticism from ruling and opposition party members as he continued his campaign tour in northeastern Japan for a while after the incident.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press