Shinjiro Koizumi, Other Lawmakers to Work Toward Lifting Smartphone Ban in Diet

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Digital minister Taro Kono uses a smartphone during a deliberation at the House of Councillors Budget Committee in Tokyo on Nov. 27.

House of Representatives members from five separate parties, including former Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, said Wednesday that they will set up a committee in the Diet to consider lifting the ban on smartphone use during parliamentary deliberations.

The move came after the chairman of the House of Councillors Budget Committee gave a warning to digital minister Taro Kono, who was using a smartphone during his deliberation on Nov. 27, which is prohibited.

“I would like to change the status quo, where the Diet is slow in digitization even though the government is calling for digitization in society,” said Koizumi of the Liberal Democratic Party at a press conference.

The coalition plans to propose the establishment of a committee to promote digitization at the lower house Rules and Administration Committee on Friday.