In response to a question about constitutional amendment from an opposition lawmaker at a House of Representatives committee meeting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, "My thoughts as the president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are written in detail in the Yomiuri Shimbun (newspaper), so please read through that thoroughly."
The incident took place during a lower house budget committee meeting on May 8, when Akira Nagatsuma of the Democratic Party (DP) asked Abe for his thoughts on the LDP's 2012 draft for a revised Constitution, which proposes various amendments, including changing the current Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to a "national defense military."
Abe was referring to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper's May 3 issue, which carried an interview with the prime minister. Abe said to Nagatsuma, "I am in attendance (at this committee meeting) as the prime minister. As for my thoughts as the president of the LDP, I would like you to refer to (the newspaper interview.)"
Opposition parties objected to Abe's answer, saying he was disrespecting the Diet. Committee chairman Yasukazu Hamada of the LDP warned Abe, saying, "The remark about a specific newspaper was inappropriate, and I'd like you to be careful about such comments going forward."