Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Delivered Policy Speech to the Diet

    TOKYO, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a policy
speech in a plenary session of the Diet on January 26, 2007.
    Prime Minister Abe stated in his speech, "Now the time has come to boldly
review these post-war regimes all the way back to their origins, and set sail
on a new course. In order to realize "a beautiful country, Japan," my mission
is none other than to draw a new vision of a nation which can withstand the
raging waves for the next 50 to 100 years to come."
    Prime Minister Abe concluded his speech to say, "In order to create "a
beautiful country, Japan," we must recognize anew what is good and wonderful
about our country. We will launch a new project which brings together our
collective wisdoms to transmit strategically Japan's new "country identity"
for the future: Japan's ideals, visions and uniqueness, so that they are well
understood by people not only in Japan, but all over the world. With my firm
belief that our future is bright, I declare 2007 as "The First Year for
Creating a Beautiful Country." With all my heart and soul, I will stand at the
fore and lead the way, with unwavering determination, to realizing various
reforms together with all the people who have the courage to take up the
challenges of the future."

    The outline of the speech is as follows:
    (Strengthening Growth Potential)

    -   Innovation which brings about cutting-edge technologies, products and
    -   An open approach which brings the vitality of Asia and the world into
        our country
    -   The "Asia Gateway Initiative," which envisions Japan acting as a
        bridge between Asia and the world
    -   Strengthening economic partnership

    (Creating a Society Full of Opportunities That Guarantees a Chance to
    Challenge Again and Again)

    -   "The Comprehensive Plan for Challenge Again Assistance Measures"

    (Creating Attractive Regions)

    -   The decentralization of power from central government to local
    -   Raising the scale of exports of "delicious and safe Japanese food

    (Advancing Administrative and Financial Reform of Central and Local

    -   An integral reform of expenditure and revenue
    -   Realizing a "lean government"
    -   Fundamental reform of the taxation system, including the consumption

    (Rebuilding Education)

    -   Ushering in "a new era in education"
    -   Rebuilding our public education system by reviewing the education
        with room for growth
    -   The issue of bullying
    -   Developing a system of education administration that will be trusted
        by the people

    (Realizing a Healthy and Safe Society)

    -   Constructing a social security system suitable for Japan
    -   Formulating a "New Health Frontier Strategy"
    -   Formulating an even more comprehensive strategy to address the
        falling birthrate
    -   Restoring Japan as the safest country in the world
    -   The implementation of global warming countermeasures

    (Proactive Diplomacy)

    -   Carrying forward "Proactive Diplomacy" that truly contributes to
        peace in Asia and the world, diplomacy founded on three pillars: (a)
        strengthening partnerships with countries that share the fundamental
        values of freedom, democracy, basic human rights and rule of law, (b)
        creating an Asia that is open and rich in innovation, and (c)
        contributing to global peace and stability
    -   The "Japan-U.S. Alliance for the World and Asia"
    -   Resolving the issue of North Korea's nuclear development and the
        abduction, under the solid principle of "Dialogue and Pressure"
    -   Building a mutually beneficial relationship with China
    -   Building a future-oriented close relationship with South Korea
    -   Strengthening economic partnerships with the ASEAN countries, and
        also with countries with which we share fundamental values, such as
        India and Australia
    -   Implementing an exchange program to invite 6,000 youths to Japan
        every year over the next five years, mainly from the countries
        participating in the East Asia Summit
    -   Deepening partnerships with European countries
    -   Peace and stability in the Middle East
    -   Striving for comprehensive reform of the United Nations and pursuing
        permanent membership on the Security Council


For further information:

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

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