The one-on-one question time of the prime minister by opposition party leaders — introduced in 2000 to reinvigorate parliamentary debates — has outlived its usefulness and no longer functions in the Diet, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe argued Wednesday.

Abe made that remarks after Yukio Edano, head of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition force, began loudly reading out a list of seven complaints against Abe's administration, including cronyism scandals allegedly involving the prime minister and school operators Moritomo Gakuen and Kake Gakuen.

As little time was left when he began reading out the list, Edano apparently did not expect an answer from Abe on each of the seven items.