15:15 Merci Joel! Ambush question on Yasukuni. Minister Matsushita indicates she has no intention to visit Yasukuni during her term as minister.
15:10 AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGHHHHH. Matsushima is the Abe Cabinet's point person on the Secrecy Act, which goes into effect on in December. A room full of journalists forgets to ask her what she is going say in the Diet about defending the rights of journalists.
15:05 Yet another question - or is a question - on Koreans in this case the North Korean schools. Should not the North Koreans be treated as other foreigners.
14:55 D. Leussink asks a question that those who do not know about the impasse Japan's death penalty has represented in the negotiation of an EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. The EU countries are pushing Japan hard to abandon the death penalty.
14:49 Holy Cow is that Egawa Shoko the Warrior Against Aum Shinrikyo asking a follow up question on the Zaitokukai? Holy crap it is!!!
She MAKES THE MINISTER RESPOND.
14:42 Death penalty and Zaitokukai question from R. L. Parry.
"As to the (Zaitokukai) organization, I do not know enough about them to comment?"
MC - "Would you not want to know, as Law Minister, more about this organization?"
14:37 Wicked first question - "You once in Diet session said that trying to accommodate a Muslim prisoner's request to have no pork in his meals would constitute 'reverse discrimination.' Is this still your position?"
14:29 Personal anecdote of how difficult it was to be a working woman in her youth and thus how much she values Prime Minister Abe's advocacy of improving the ability of women to have careers.
14:27 A request from the MC to talk about "Women in Politics" -- one of today's advertized topics -- somehow instigates a long explanation about anti-DV and assault activities.
14:25 Note to self - Minister Matsushita uses an extremely hard "p" in her pronounciation of "Nippon."
14:23 Immigration will be hiring 300 persons this year, a big jump from the current 2200 officers.
14:19 Now the sunny side of the street stuff: Matsushima is in charge of Immigration so she can bubble, as best she can, about welcoming foreigners to Japan in advance of the 2020 Olympics. "Smooth entry into the country" (nyukoku) - particularly for high frequency travelers, like businesspersons.
14:16 (Note to self - the right wing defense league is sitting along the wall on the left side of the room. I guess they heard about the verbal scourging Abductees Minister Yamantani Eriko suffered yesterday.)
14:15 "On the first day of my service as Law Minister, my first act was to order the revision of the sentencing laws that punish theft more severely than sex crimes."
14:10 Lots of explanation of the peculiar situation where property crimes are legally more heinous than sexual assault.
14:05 "Of all my Diet career, that which I am most proud of my part in the drafting of the legislation that became the Victims of Crimes Act."
14:00 Minister of Law (Homudaijin) Matsushima Midori walks in. She has rejected the lectern and is speaking while standing, mike in hand, as if on a campaign stop.