The LDP talked up DPJ links to the maruchi shoho industry as a brickbat for Budget Committee delibrerations*. The DPJ countered in the Budget Committee in the Upper House, where they can control the proceedings, with questions directed at Seiko Noda, the Consumer Affairs Minister. In 1996, she had used question time in the Lower House Commerce and Industry Committee to talk up the maruchi shoho industry. Minister Noda’s response this time was far less supportive and appears to have involved a somewhat creative reinterpretation of her previous statements.
Blowback came more quickly than I had imagined.
The high-profile Budget Committees in the two Houses serve as surrogates for Plenary sessions. Unlike the other lesser committees, any Cabinet Minister can be summoned for questioning. Thus, question time is often used to take up matters whose relevance to fiscal issues are tenuous.
ADD: What if it turns out that she had received political contributions? Will she have to do a Maeda Dive? What is the political statute of limitations here?