The Cabinet will hold working lunches every Wednesday beginning next month to improve communication among ministers, following a practice in Sweden, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday.
“I heard from the Swedish prime minister the other day that he holds such a lunch session every day,” Koizumi told reporters at his office, referring to a meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson on March 5 in Tokyo.
“I think it is (also) good for me to hold brief talks, I mean, for 30 or 40 minutes, with ministers once a week,” Koizumi said. “I cannot do so every day, though.”
The idea was proposed by Koizumi, and the lunch topics will not be made public so participants will be able to talk freely, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told a news conference.
The Cabinet members hold brief informal sessions after regular meetings held every Tuesday and Friday.
The lunch sessions will supplement the informal meetings, Fukuda said. One minister recently complained that the informal meetings were too short to freely express opinions on various issues.