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Politicians must act in response to the public’s will, not to power struggles with rival factions, and be held accountable for the outcome of their policies, Lower House lawmaker Makiko Tanaka said Thursday.

Tanaka, of the Liberal Democratic Party, also called for greater transparency in the decision-making process in controversial issues such as the disposal of bad loans.

“Politics is the business of managing the nation,” she said in a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. “As the manager of the nation, politicians must realize that we are accountable for the results of our efforts.”

She said politicians in the LDP as well as opposition parties have not made sufficient efforts to directly communicate with the average people, which is a “leading cause” for the public’s distrust and apathy in politics.

“Politicians have a responsibility to clearly let the public know what is possible and what is not,” she said. “We must promptly act on what is possible and explain why something is not possible, and what must be done to make it possible.”

Referring to ongoing Diet deliberations on the disposal of banks’ problem loans, the decision-making process is “deeply clouded in ambiguity,” she said. “Although I am a member of the LDP, I am left with doubts about how serious the government is in resolving this problem,” she said.

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