How can a prime minister change India

Embassy of Japan in Germany
在 ド イ ツ 日本国 大使館


 

Government declaration by Prime Minister Naoto Kan in the 174th session of Parliament on 06/11/2010
 




1 Introduction

Dear citizens,
honored MPs,
my name is Naoto Kan. I was recently elected by Parliament and I have now taken on great responsibility for the office of Prime Minister of Japan. I am determined to do everything I can to live up to the expectations of the people in this country.

Restart through regained trust
Thanks to the heartfelt desire of many people to finally end the long standstill, a change of government took place last summer. However, the hopes initially placed on the government were severely shaken as a result of the "politics and money" problem and the mess over the relocation of Futenma airfield. As a member of the previous government, I too feel the painful responsibility of not preventing this situation. Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has openly admitted his responsibility for the "politics and money" problem in relation to himself and in relation to the previous Secretary General Ozawa and for the problem of relocating Futenma Airport, and by resigning himself he has taken action .

In the face of this courageous decision by my predecessor, my duty as the successor to lead the government is above all to return to the starting point of the historic change of government, to overcome this failure and to regain the trust of the citizens.

Commitment “from the ground up”
My political career began more than 30 years ago when I supported the election of Fusae Ichikawa to the House of Lords. During her election campaign at the time, which was based primarily on the citizens' initiatives, I acted as the head of her election campaign office. Among other things, young volunteers drove across the country in a jeep convoy, and it was really a grassroots election campaign. Immediately after her election, Ms. Ichikawa, together with MP Yukio Aoshima, visited the then President of the Keidanren Business Association, Toshio Doko, and obtained an agreement from him to end the placement of corporate donations through Keidanren. This commitment was later weakened again, but this year Keidanren has decided to give up its organizational involvement in corporate donations. “The power of a single vote in elections changes politics.” The haunting experiences I made at the time form the origin of my political commitment. Politics can be changed by the power of people. With this conviction, which I have fully internalized, I will work to live up to the responsibility that has been assigned to me.

Participation in politics with full commitment
I was born in Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and came to Tokyo as a high school student when my father was changing jobs as a technician in a company. In Tokyo, an employee cannot afford a home without a large loan. The great efforts of my father, which I experienced at the time, were the reason for my commitment in the field of building land in urban regions. After graduating, I first worked in the office of a patent attorney and at the same time got involved in citizens' initiatives. Two years after Ms. Ichikawa's election campaign, I faced the political challenges of the country for the first time in the so-called Lockheed election (from 1976). When I ran for the first time, I headed my essays with “Nothing can arise from an ethic of negation” and “Do not give up for the goal of a democracy of participation”. Through a democracy of participation, I promoted the need to restore people's feeling and awareness of politics. After three unsuccessful attempts, I was elected to parliament for the first time in 1980, and my life as a member of parliament began with a so-called small party. There are many MPs in the Democratic Party of Japan today who, like me, plunged into the world of politics at a young age with no support and no money. If you have the will and make an effort, then anyone can participate in politics. Isn't it just such a policy that we should strive for?

Realizing true sovereignty for citizens
My fundamental political conviction is to achieve true sovereignty, in which the citizens of the country participate in politics. I learned this starting point from the “idea of ​​the autonomy of citizens” by political scientist Prof. Keiichi Matsushita. In Japan, the concept of the "cabinet of officials" system, in which politics is led by officials, has prevailed. However, the Japanese constitution stipulates that the citizens elect the parliamentarians and that the prime minister elected by parliament should assemble a cabinet. As Prof. Matsushita teaches, there is actually a "system of the parliamentary cabinet" in Japan. According to this, political leadership means that the party, which is supported by the majority of the people, together with the cabinet directs the politics of the country. Therefore, the policy cited by civil servants must be superseded. Through parties that are widely open to the people of our country, the citizens actively participate, and in this way a policy is carried out through a government of the people. I will work resolutely towards this goal.

Tasks of the new government
I cite the following three areas as tasks for the new government: “Thoroughly clearing up post-war politics”, “Uniform reorganization of the economy, finances and social security” and “Foreign and security policy based on a sense of responsibility”.

2. Continuing reforms - Thoroughly clearing up post-war politics

Continue the reforms
The main policy challenge is to continue with the reforms that began with the change of government last year. Hatoyama's cabinet has been steadfast in advocating a revision of government programs (in Japanese: jigyou shiwake) and for a reform of the civil servants' system; none of these projects had been successfully tackled by the previous governments as a thorough clean-up of post-war politics. However, we are only halfway there. We must pursue the reforms we promised the people of the country and implement them thoroughly. The reforms will generate objections and resistance. However, if we slackened our efforts, reforms would be weakened and we would even go backwards. We will press ahead with reforms, with politicians taking the initiative, and we will not turn back the clocks.

Eliminating waste and redesigning public administration
First of all, we will continue to intensify our efforts so far to tackle waste. Two reviews of government programs were carried out under the Hatoyama administration, once last year and again this year. The process of drawing up the budget and operations of the independent management companies and other public companies that were previously out of the public eye have been confirmed step by step and in public light. This has greatly improved the transparency of the public administration. We will continue these efforts so that the limited human resources and budget of the government are used effectively.

We will also continue to review government organizations and the system of civil servants. We will abolish the vertical separation within the ministries and agencies and expand the functions of government, while we will do everything we can in such areas as a ban on amakudari ("Golden Parachute") will be used by officials.

I will also work to overcome the isolation of the government. In 1996, as minister for health and social affairs, I worked to clarify the AIDS scandal caused by contaminated blood products. At that time, the employees of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs initially claimed that the relevant documents could not be found. I gave strong instructions to look for it, and as a result, the existence of the documents came to light. This publication of information led to the clarification of the scandal and also to help for the victims. I am therefore, more than anyone else, aware of the importance of publishing information. As Treasury Secretary in the Hatoyama Cabinet, I worked with the Secretary of State to uncover the existence of the secret agreements between Japan and the United States. I will maintain this position in the future, including the considerations regarding a revision of the law on the publication of information.

Promotion of the sovereignty of the regions and reform of the postal system
In addition, I will also work to shape regional sovereignty. A standardized policy within the framework of a centralized state restricts the ability to design measures that are precisely tailored to the great diversity in the local area. Thoroughly shaping the sovereignty of the regions is essential if we are to form a government that enjoys the active participation of the local people. We are now at the point where we move from the outline to the details in the debate. My intention is to proceed with the handover of legal responsibilities and financial resources in a well-considered manner after speaking face-to-face with the people in the regions and taking into account the wishes of each area. On this basis, I will draw concrete conclusions for each area of ​​public administration in the individual regions, also using a system of special administrative areas.

With regard to the postal system, on the basis of the coalition agreement between the Democratic Party of Japan and the New People's Party, we want to swiftly pass a bill on postal reforms so that basic services can be provided in post offices across the country in an integrated manner, while at the same time reshape the current management structures.

3. Ending the deadlock in the country: uniform reorganization of the economy, finances and social security

As a second political challenge, we will get the economy going again, put public finances in order and also redesign the social security system so that we can build a society in which people can have hopes for their future. The Japanese economy has remained in a state of stagnation for almost 20 years since the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s. This has caused people to lose their former confidence and worry about the future. It is the job of the new cabinet to fulfill the hopes of the people who want us to lead the country out of a deadlock. We will begin this endeavor based on a new blueprint that could be referred to as the “Third Way”.

Give the economy new impetus through a “third way”
Economic policy for the past two decades has been shaped around what I shall call the "First Way" and "Second Way". The “First Way” describes an economic policy that focuses on public works. During the period of rapid economic growth in the 1960s and 1970s, the expansion of roads, sea ports, airports and other facilities led to greater productivity and increased economic growth. By contrast, in the 1980s, when the basic infrastructure was in place, the link between this public works investment and the economic impact was lost, and the picture was completely different in the 1990s. Most public works, invested in huge sums in the years following the collapse of the bubble economy, have not produced effective results.

Then, in the first decade of the 21st century, economic policy began to focus on productivity; this was based on excessive market fundamentalism as well as over-care about the supply side. This is the "second way". This type of policy may be considered appropriate from an individual company's point of view. When a company takes decisive steps to restructure it and thereby restore its performance, the company's management is likely to be recognized as successful. However, if we look at the country as a whole, we find that these policies have taken many people out of their jobs, made people's livelihoods even more difficult, and led to deflation. The point is, a company can restructure and lay off employees; but a whole country cannot do this. We have to help improve productivity, but at the same time it is even more important to expand demand and employment. Because this did not happen, people today have become highly aware of the widening divide, which has led to the widespread feeling of discomfort in society. They like to symbolize it hook-mura apply, the improvised tent cities in Hibiya Park in central Tokyo, which were created two years ago.

The economy continues to stagnate because the goals of economic policy measures no longer match the changed industrial and social structures. We have learned from these past mistakes and are now tackling the “Third Way” as a process that meets current conditions. These measures aim to transform the problems that exist in the economy and society into opportunities for new demand and employment and to link them with new forms of growth. The main causes of the stalemate, which continues to this day, are economic stagnation, the growing deficit in the state budget and the loss of confidence in the social security systems. The new cabinet is determined to show political leadership to build a "strong economy", "healthy public finances" and "a strong social security system" in an integrated manner.

Realization of a "strong economy"
The first task is to create a “strong economy”. The 2008 financial crisis hit the Japanese economy directly, which was overly dependent on foreign demand, and had a greater impact than any other country. Realizing a strong economy requires creating stable demand - both domestically and abroad - and designing economic structures that help spread prosperity across the board.

How should demand be generated? The key to this is the existence of a "problem-solving" national strategy. Many new problems have arisen in today's economy and modern society. We have to tackle each of these problems directly and come up with solutions that create new demand and new jobs. Based on these considerations, the New Growth Strategy, which has been developed under my responsibility since last year, has identified growth areas such as “Green Innovations”, “Innovations in the Life Sciences”, “The Asian Economy” and “Tourism and the Regions”. As supporting platforms, we will also implement strategies for “science and technology” and for “employment and human resources”.

Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has been very committed to the first area, “green innovations”. This includes measures to combat global warming, such as the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.There are many other areas of promise, including those related to biodiversity conservation and water supplies, which are essential for human survival. There is also enormous potential for demand in these areas. We also place our hopes in the development of new technologies and economic activities in areas such as transportation, everyday areas, energy - including nuclear energy - as well as urban development.

We will make Japan a leading country in terms of the health of its people by means of the second growth area “Innovations in the life sciences”. Raising children safely and leading a healthy life in old age is what everyone wants. Presenting recipes for solutions so that these wishes can be fulfilled will create new economic values ​​and new jobs.

The third field is an “Economic Strategy for Asia”. Many regions in Asia, which continues to experience rapid growth, are faced with challenges relating to urbanization and industrialization, which are accompanied by environmental problems. There are also concerns about falling birth rates and aging societies. These countries need to develop their social infrastructure such as railways, roads, energy supply and water pipes, areas in which Japan has already reached a more or less sufficient level. Japan is able to meet the emerging needs in Asian markets by presenting models of how to meet the challenges before other countries do. In order to capture this need, we will expand the exchange with people abroad, improve the infrastructure to strengthen the transport functions of airports, implement reforms in the area of ​​regulations and support the involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises abroad.

In the fourth field of “Strategies that will make Japan a tourist country and revitalize the regions”, promoting tourism using Japan's cultural heritage and natural beauty can contribute to the economic revitalization of the regions. The requirements for issuing visas have already been relaxed considerably under the Hatoyama government in order to increase the number of visitors from China.

If the agricultural villages as well as the mountain and fishing villages are able to take over the production, processing and distribution of their goods themselves in an integrated way and in this way to create new values, this will lead to the creation of local jobs and lead to vital communities in which the young families want to have children and raise them. The development of agriculture, forestry and fishing as core industries in the regions will also help improve Japan's food self-sufficiency rate. Forestry in particular will play a new important role in a low-carbon society. The trees that were planted after the end of World War II have now grown to great heights. There is therefore now a good opportunity to revitalize the forest industry by creating new networks of transport routes and other measures. The introduction of the household support system and other steps for agriculture, forestry and fisheries should be further developed with this in mind. Right now, as I speak to you, the ranchers in Miyazaki Prefecture are watching with concern after their cattle and pigs, which they raised with great care like their own children. The local people are fighting with great commitment to stop the foot-and-mouth disease. The government will do everything in its power to prevent the infection from spreading and will take all possible steps to ensure the livelihoods of the affected farmers and help them rebuild their businesses.

To fill the regions with renewed vigor, we will take a strategic approach that leverages the know-how and resources of the private sector to develop the social infrastructure that people really need. We will also support small and medium-sized companies with big ambitions.

In order to promote these growth areas, the strengths in science and technology that Japan has developed over the years will be further expanded in accordance with the "Strategies for Science and Technology", the fifth field. We will revise the regulations and examine the support mechanisms in order to stimulate effective and at the same time efficient technological development. The educational environment will be improved so that the young people who will be the leaders of our country in the future can pursue their dreams and walk the path of science. We will also improve the research environment so that excellent researchers from all over the world can come to Japan. The use of intellectual property as well as information and communication technologies, which can serve as a stepping stone for new innovations, will also be further developed.

As part of the sixth field of the strategies for “employment and human resources”, we will promote the development of human resources in new growth areas. To overcome the limitations of a shrinking workforce caused by declining birth rates and an aging population, we strive to increase the proportion of young people, women and the elderly in the working population. It is also our goal to secure stable jobs while taking changes within industrial structures into account. This is intended to enable everyone to have “proper work” that enables a life in dignity and a good livelihood. We will promote a gender equitable society by resolutely creating an environment where women have more opportunities to demonstrate their skills.

Human resources are the driving force for growth. A large reservoir of human resources is created through the expansion of the skills of every single person in our country through education, sport, culture and other areas.

The “New Growth Strategy”, which includes concrete steps in the areas just mentioned, will be finalized and published this month. Through the interaction between government and the private sector, efforts are being made to achieve a "strong economy" capable of growing by 2020 averaging 3 percent in nominal terms and 2 percent in real terms. The first priority now is to get out of deflation, and the government will work with the Bank of Japan to take decisive and comprehensive action to achieve this.

"Healthy public finances" by restoring fiscal recovery
Next we need to achieve healthy public finances. In an economic climate in which private sector consumption is stagnating, it seems, to a certain extent, logical to absorb people's savings by issuing government bonds and to compensate for dwindling private demand with public spending. In Japan, however, public finances are in dire straits due to a large number of elaborate public works projects as well as tax cuts that were implemented primarily in the 1990s, as well as the steep rise in social security costs due to our aging society Status. In fact, the situation is worse than in any other industrialized country. A fiscal policy that relies heavily on the issuance of government bonds is no longer sustainable. As the instability within the eurozone, which originated in Greece, shows, we risk a fiscal collapse if we ignore rising public debt and lose confidence in the securities markets.

The size of Japan's mountain of debt is enormous and it will not go away overnight. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance to immediately begin fundamental reforms that will lead to fiscal recovery. Specifically, the first step is to strongly encourage measures to combat waste. Next we will implement a growth strategy. In drawing up the budgets, we will base our priorities on benchmarks that take into account the extent to which spending contributes to the creation of growth and jobs. This will allow us to achieve goals for economic growth and shape healthy public finances through increased tax revenue.

In addition to eradicating waste and creating budgets that encourage economic growth, the tax system must undergo in-depth reform to improve the critical position in which Japan's public finances find themselves today. If we continue to issue government bonds at the current level, public debt - as measured by GDP - will amount to more than 200 percent in a few years' time. To prevent this from happening, we urgently need to create an overall picture of the future tax system.

With this in mind, with a steadfast focus on future economic projects, the Hatoyama cabinet has examined the medium-term budget framework and a budgetary management strategy that point the way to medium- and long-term budgetary discipline. I also took part in these exams, which will be completed by the end of the month. Meanwhile, during the current session of parliament, the Liberal Democratic Party has tabled a bill on responsibility to restore fiscal health. I would like to make a suggestion at this point. I believe that on this vital question, which concerns the future of our country, we need a nationwide debate in which the boundaries between the ruling and opposition parties are overcome. We should set up an impartial 'Fiscal Health Reconsideration Conference', made up of Members of this Parliament who understand the importance of healthy public finances, and work together for constructive debate.

Design of a "strong social security system"
In addition to a strong economy and healthy public finances, which I just mentioned, we will also work to build a strong social security system.

In the past, people have emphasized the onerous aspects of social security in the context of declining birth rates and an aging society, and there has been a tendency to view social security as something that hinders economic growth. I do not share this view. If people are worried about the social system or even distrust it - be it medical treatment, pensions or raising children - then they lack the confidence to spend their money on consumption. In addition, many aspects of social security can lead to growth by creating new jobs. Experience in other countries shows that the expansion of social security can lead to new jobs and at the same time lead to growth.

In order to ensure strong social security along these lines and to present a model for a Japan that can overcome the problems of a falling birth rate and an aging society, we will implement reforms to redesign various areas of the social security system. With regard to the pension system, there is an urgent need for us to do all we can to address the issue of non-allocable pension records and design a system that is appropriate for modern society. In order to initiate a nationwide and bipartisan debate on this issue, we are going to present the outline of a new pension system. We will also transform the health system and ensure medical care that people can trust. In the same way, we will campaign for the establishment of care services that people can rely on. The expansion of the childcare system is another point that cannot be postponed any further. In addition to child benefit, the government will work together to offer the full range of childcare services by ensuring that no child has to wait for a childcare place and by using the two areas of previous childcare, namely kindergartens and day care facilities for Children, merge.

In addition, in order to improve the level of social security services and other areas, and to deliver them to those most in need of social security, we need to improve the foundations of this system; this also includes the introduction of a system of social security numbers. In the near future, we will show the citizens of Japan concrete options with a view to introducing a numbering system for social security and taxation.

A society that includes everyone
In addition to the measures just mentioned, the fight against the new social risk of loneliness is also my top priority. Since the year before last I have been working with the general secretary of the non-profit organization Anti-Poverty Network, Makoto Yuasa, to support people who live in places like hook-mura are threatened by poverty and hardship. This commitment reminded me that the term “homeless” has two meanings. The first meaning is a person who is "without shelter", that is, without a place to live in the physical sense. But the second and more important meaning of this term is the condition of a person who has no family members to assist him in times of need. Nobody can walk through life alone. When someone is in trouble, has setbacks, or has a breakdown, it is only with the support of those around you that you will be able to get back on your feet. In Japan it has so far been families, municipalities, and businesses that have performed this role. But these traditional sources of aid have been largely lost, and today social exclusion and inequalities continue to grow. Whether younger people spend the night in internet cafes or older people who live alone and are separated from their community: loneliness is a problem that affects more and more people: young and old, men and women. For the strong, this liberation from old shackles may mean more freedom, but for the weak it carries the risk of having to spend the last days of life alone.

I strongly identify with the ethos of "personal help" that Mr. Yuasa and his associates provide. With this approach, a knowledgeable personal helper is available to give advice to people when they are in need for a variety of reasons. In this way, they receive the necessary support in a personal and continuous manner that goes beyond the vertical division of the various systems and frameworks. While more needs to be done to transform government agencies that provide social services into one that provides all conceivable services from a single source, there are also time and space limits. Personal aids that offer services in the manner of a “helping hands” can act across these boundaries by offering one-stop services that are provided by a single person. Through such efforts, tied to a variety of relevant organizations and social resources, we strive for a society that is inclusive and in which no one is excluded from the mutual support networks - not just in terms of employment, but also In relation to caring for the disabled and the elderly, in relation to respect for human rights and as part of our efforts to tackle the over 30,000 suicides that occur in our country every year. The New Concept of Public Service, on which previous Prime Minister Hatoyama worked hard, will also help to further enhance the potential of such activities.Government agencies and civil servants can no longer be solely responsible for providing social services, as they have in the past. We will support the engagement of local people who, in a spirit of mutual help, engage in activities such as education and child-rearing, community building, crime and disaster prevention, medical treatment and care, and consumer protection.

4. A foreign and security policy based on a sense of responsibility

A foreign and security policy based on a sense of responsibility on the part of the citizens
The third political challenge is a foreign and security policy based on a sense of responsibility.

When I was young, I discussed international politics not on the basis of ideologies, but of pragmatism. I took part in numerous lectures under the direction of Prof. Younosuke Nagai, who wrote the famous work Heiwa no Daishou ("The Price of Peace"). How should our foreign policy be shaped so that Japan has an "honorable place in ... international society", as stated in the preamble of our constitution? During the discussions with Prof. Nagai, I learned that foreign policy cannot be based solely on reacting passively to other countries. How do we want to shape Japan? Are we prepared to pay a price for the good of our country too? I believe that every individual in our country must be aware of this responsibility and that our foreign policy should be shaped against this background.

Today the international community is faced with major challenges that amount to a tectonic shift. These changes extend not only to the economy, but also to foreign policy and the military sector. In this situation we have to make our point of view clear within the international community and pursue a foreign policy based on “balanced pragmatism”.

Basic ideas about foreign and security policy
Japan is a maritime state on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and also an Asian country. In shaping Japan's foreign policy, I will take this dual character sufficiently into account. Specifically, the Japanese-American alliance will remain the cornerstone of our foreign policy, while at the same time I will strengthen our partnership with the countries of Asia.

The Japanese-American Alliance can be described as an asset that is shared internationally. Because it not only contributes to the defense of Japan, but also to stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. I will continue to build our alliance continuously.

With regard to our neighboring countries, most of which are in Asia, we will strengthen our relations with them in a wide variety of areas, such as politics, economy and culture, and in the future we aim to create an East Asian community. With China, we will continue to deepen our relationships on the basis of mutual benefit based on common strategic interests, while with the Republic of Korea we will seek a forward-looking partnership. With regard to Japan-Russian relations, we will seek advanced relations by viewing politics and economics as two wheels on the same axis. In this context, I will do all I can to resolve the problem of the Northern Territories - the greatest outstanding issue in relations between Japan and Russia - in order to achieve the conclusion of a peace treaty. We will expand our partnership with members of ASEAN, India and other countries. I will take an active role as chairman at the APEC summit in Yokohama next fall. We will continue to negotiate Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) as well as economic partnerships at the regional level in line with domestic institutional reforms.

Japan will also play an active role in global issues. In the international climate change negotiations, we will play a leading role in working closely with the UK, the EU and the United Nations in advocating for COP16 in order to create a fair and effective international framework in which all major emitters can participate. In autumn of this year we will promote the international commitment to the protection of biological diversity at the COP10, which takes place in Nagoya. Japan will be at the forefront of building a "world without nuclear weapons". We will continue our aid to the reconstruction of Afghanistan and our support for Africa in accordance with the commitments we made at TICAD IV, while at the same time we will do all we can to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

With regard to North Korea, the incident of the sinking of a Corvette of the Republic of Korea is by no means acceptable. It is necessary to support the Republic of Korea in whatever form and to respond to the incident with determination and united with the entire international community. Japan seeks to normalize relations with North Korea through a comprehensive resolution of the outstanding problems relating to North Korea, including the kidnappings, the nuclear and missile issues and a cleansing of the “unfortunate past”. With regard to the kidnapping issue, mindful of our responsibilities as a government, we will do everything in our power to ensure that all victims can return to Japan as soon as possible. Japan is committed to a peaceful and diplomatic solution with Iran, which continues to violate UN Security Council resolutions.

With a view to responding to the international security environment, I will have the state of Japan's defense capabilities reviewed and later this year I will announce plans to review the guidelines for the defense program and the next medium-term defense program.

Relocation of the Futenma airfield
The U.S. military bases are concentrated in Okinawa, and the Okinawa people have carried significant burdens. We must definitely move and return Futenma Base and move some of the US Marines to Guam.

With a view to the relocation of Futenma Airport, I am determined to achieve a reduction in Okinawa's burdens, in accordance with the Japan-US agreement reached at the end of May, and also in accordance with the relevant Cabinet decision.

Okinawa is a region that has developed a unique culture and a region that Japan can be proud of. Okinawa experienced the worst ground fighting in Japan during the last world war, in which many people lost their lives. On June 23, on the 65th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa, celebrations will take place in memory of those who have fallen and killed. I would like to begin my commitment to the future of Okinawa by participating in this celebration that will remember the great tragedy Okinawa experienced.

5. Final considerations

As I said at the beginning, my government's job is to end the stalemate that has lasted for almost 20 years and to restore Japan to a country full of vitality. In this government statement, I have indicated the path that we will take. The question remains whether we are able to carry out our projects.

The lack of political leadership has been the main reason why reforms in Japan, including objectives at the state level, have failed in the past. Even if there were measures that served the interests of individual groups and specific regions, there was a lack of political leadership that has the future of the country as a whole in mind and promotes reforms. Leadership of this kind cannot arise solely from individual politicians or parties. Whether I will be able to show this type of leadership depends on showing my compatriots a clear vision of Japan, as well as on them placing their trust in me and giving me the go-ahead to make this vision a reality.

My speech today was the first in a series of occasions on which I will present my vision. I very much hope that you will agree with this vision that I have shown and that you will place your trust in me. I would like to close this government statement with a sincere request to the citizens of this country to show their support as I seek to function as Prime Minister with determined leadership.
 

 

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