Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday faced questions from a major opposition party over issues ranging from his rejection of scholars to an advisory body, to the government's coronavirus response.

In their first face-off in the Diet since Suga took office in mid-September, Yukio Edano, the head of the largest opposition force, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, criticized the prime minister's decision to keep six government critics off the Science Council of Japan as "illegal" and asked him to clearly explain the reasons behind the decision.

Suga, however, declined to give details on why he did not nominate the scholars who have been critical of security and anti-conspiracy legislation enacted under his predecessor Shinzo Abe.