Maehara takes on Koizumi over government spending



,” Maehara said.

But more money ought to be allocated to areas closely related to people’s lives, such as education, welfare and measures to cope with the declining birthrate, rather than public works, the new opposition leader said.

He also said the DPJ is opposed to the resumption of beef imports from the United States, which were banned after the country encountered its first case of mad cow disease.

A government panel recently published a draft report concluding that meat from young cattle raised in the U.S. poses an extremely low safety risk, assuming that risky parts such as spines, eyes and brains are properly removed.

But Maehara said the panel’s conclusion can’t be justified and said the system for checking the huge number of cattle in the U.S. is not working properly.