• January 18, 2008 6:35 PM
  • - General

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda Delivered Policy Speech to the Diet


    TOKYO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - 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:(Introduction)

    (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.

         (Conclusion)
For further information: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/index-e.html;
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Fax: +81-3-3592-0179