Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda Delivered Policy Speech to the Diet

19/01/2008 04:14

PR Newswire

TOKYO, January 19 /PRNewswire/ --
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda delivered a policy speech in a plenary session of the Diet on January 18, 2008.

Prime Minister Fukuda stated in his speech, "There are many policy issues that must be addressed in this Diet session as well, such as the budget and other important bills that are directly related to the daily lives of the Japanese people. I firmly believe that it is precisely the responsibility of those in politics vis-a-vis the people to ensure that the ruling and opposition parties conduct thorough discussions based on a relationship of trust and reach decisions to conduct the affairs of state. I will continue to do my utmost to conduct responsible politics, based on the foundation of the coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito Party, by providing an explanation of policies clearly and in detail, and by proactively incorporating the views of the opposition parties."

Prime Minister Fukuda concluded his speech to say, "I am determined to create that nest built on trust which fosters progress between the people on the one hand, and the administration and politics on the other, so that Japan will make progress towards a vibrant nation that contributes to the world."

The outline of the speech is as follows:


(Guiding principles)

- Based on these five guiding principles, I will conduct the affairs of state.

1. "Shift to administrative and financial policies that put the people first".

2. "Establish a social security system and ensure safety".
3. "Create an economic society with vitality".

4. "Make Japan a Peace Fostering Nation".

5. "Convert to a low carbon society".

I: Shifting to Administrative and Fiscal Policies that Put the People First

- Positioning the year 2008 as the starting year towards "a society in which the people and the consumers play leading roles".
- Establishing a new organization with strong authority in order to promote, in a uniform and systematic manner, consumer policy, which is now conducted separately by each ministry and agency concerned.
- Establishing a permanent post of Minister for Consumer Affairs.

(Administrative and Financial Reforms to Restore the Trust of the People)

- Resolutely and thoroughly implementing administrative and fiscal reforms.

- Discretionary contracts.

- Ensuring the neutrality of the Board of Audit and strengthening its functions.

- Abolishing or privatizing independent administrative corporations.
- Making sure to achieve a surplus in the primary fiscal balance of the central and local governments in FY2011.

- Regarding to tax revenues earmarked for road projects, road development projects for regional independence and revitalization will be restricted, in light of the stringent fiscal situation, to those which are truly necessary, and these, too, will be thoroughly rationalized.

II: Establishing a Social Security System and Ensuring Safety (Reconstructing the Social Security System from the Standpoint of Beneficiaries)

- To shift to the perspective of the public and to rebuild the social security system based on the principle of self-reliance and mutual cooperation, in order to ensure the system's sustainability in the future and to give peace of mind to the public.

- With regard to the problem of pension records, I once again express my sincere apologies. Based on the policy decided by the government and ruling coalition last July, to ensure a prompt record verification process, a nationwide effort shall be conducted. Seeking the public's kind understanding and cooperation. Doing my utmost to resolve the issue during the tenure of my Cabinet.

- Decided to convene a "National Commission on Social Security,".

(Ensuring Safety and Security)

- Strengthening efforts to eliminate harmful content from the Internet, to monitor and arrest financing of organized crime, and to tighten regulations on firearms.

- With the aim of zero fatalities in the event of natural disasters, advancing measures to support the elderly and people with disabilities, and to strengthen the earthquake resistance of elementary and junior high school buildings as well as of private housing.

III: Creating an Economic Society with Vitality
(1. Implementing the Economic Growth Strategy)

- Translating into concrete measures the Economic Growth Strategy that consists of the following three pillars, and implementing the Strategy without delay.

- Making appropriate responses to the rising price of crude oil and the stagnation in the stock market while paying close attention to their impact on the economy.

1. Acceleration of Technological Innovation: "Strategy for Creation of Innovative Technology"

2. A Japan That Is Open to the World: "Global Strategy" "Plan for 300,000 Exchange Students"

3. An Economy in Which All Participate Drawing on the Vitality of the Agricultural Sector, Small and Medium Enterprises and from Which Everyone Can Feel the Benefits of Growth: "Economic Strategy in Which All Participated"

(2. Creation of Regions with Vitality)

- Pursuant to the "Regional Revitalization Strategy", the government will collectively and strongly support the initiatives by local regions based on their ingenuity and innovation.

- Accelerating the discussion on decentralization reform involving further transfer of power from the central to local governments and present the people with the vision and modality of Japan after the decentralization process. Also deepening the national debate on the introduction of a system of a broader regional government (doshu-sei).

IV: Pursuing diplomacy which contributes to peace and development in the world (Japan as a "Peace Fostering Nation")

- Playing a responsible role in the international community as a "Peace Fostering Nation" which contributes to peace and development in the world.

- Resuming refueling activities in the Indian Ocean, and continuing our assistance to the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq for the reconstruction of their countries.

- Aspiring to become a hub of human resource development as well as for research and intellectual contribution to further promote cooperation in the field of peace-building.

- Proceeding with consideration of a so-called "general law" for the purpose of implementing expeditiously and effectively international peace cooperation activities.

- Eradication of poverty, improvement in health and hygienic conditions, resolving such issues within the scope of "human security."
- Pursuing the goal of becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and will work towards United Nations reform, striving to contribute to achieve Peace in the Middle East. Promoting diplomacy to secure natural and energy resources.

(Developing Friendly Bilateral Relations)

- The Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of Japan's foreign policy. Implementing the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan.

- Having embarked on "synergy diplomacy" with my visits to the United States, Singapore, and China last year.

- With China, deepening the mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests through cooperation. With regard to the Republic of Korea, building a future-oriented and stable relationship. With Russia, advancing territorial negotiations with a view to upgrading bilateral relations to a higher dimension.

- Continuing to exert our maximum efforts to realize the immediate return of all the abductees, settling the unfortunate past, and normalizing the relations between Japan and North Korea.

(Conversion to a "Low Carbon Society")

- Taking maximum advantage of "environmental prowess" leading the international community by, converting itself into a "low carbon society" which will serve as a precedent for the world to emulate.
- As the G8 Presidency, taking the lead in creating a new, effective framework which includes all major emitters.

- Building a financial mechanism to implement assistance to developing countries.

- Formulating an "Environmental Energy Technology Revolution Plan".

(Development of the Human Resources Who Will Carry Us Forward into Tomorrow)

- Endeavoring to rebuild education through efforts undertaken not only by schools but also by families, local communities and the administration jointly.

- Establishing a reliable public education.

(Deepening Discussions on the Constitution)

- Hoping that sincere discussions will take place with a view towards reaching a broad-based agreement with the participation of all political parties.


For further information:

Cabinet Public Relations Office,
Cabinet Secretariat, Government of Japan
Fax: +81-3-3592-0179

Web site: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/index-e.html
Cabinet Public Relations Office, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of Japan, fax: +81-3-3592-0179