TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday apologized for time being wasted in the latest session of the Diet and pledged to fulfill the government"s responsibility to fully explain its policies to a public whose support for his Cabinet has tumbled according to recent polls.
The nationally televised press conference on Monday was held amid public skepticism recently regarding the government"s involvement in a favoritism scandal involving a school operator chaired by a friend of Abe"s being handpicked for a state-backed project in a deregulated zone.
The public was also incensed just prior to the ordinary Diet session ending, by the government using its majority to enact a controversial "conspiracy" law and circumnavigating some legislative procedures to achieve this.
"The latest session of the Diet was far from constructive as discussions were constantly being criticized," Abe said, adding that too much time was spent on "discussions that were irrelevant to policies and for this I apologize to the people of Japan."
He went on to say that at times he had used "heated language" to deny certain allegations being levied at him and that this was regrettable.
Regarding allegations that the government, in particular Abe himself, had used his influence to ensure that Kake Educational Institution, chaired by a close friend of Abe"s, was selected to open a new veterinary department at a university in a special deregulated zone in Japan, Abe said that the handling of the matter had led to a loss of public faith.
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