Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda Delivered Policy Speech to the Diet

Oct. 1, 2007

TOKYO , Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda delivered a general policy speech in a plenary session of the Diet on October 1, 2007 .

Prime Minister Fukuda stated in his speech, "I am bracing myself up, in keen awareness of the gravity of taking charge of the government, at a time when we face a period of great change. Putting first and foremost Japan's future development and the stability of people's lives, I will do my utmost to discharge my duties under the coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito Party."

Prime Minister Fukuda concluded his speech to say, "In continuing to advance reforms, I will implement policies based on the principle of "self- reliance and mutual cooperation." I will conduct politics with warm compassion, based on the concept that it is necessary for the young and elderly people, big companies and small and medium enterprises, and cities and rural areas, to respect each other, and support and help each other, while maintaining the principle of self-help. I am convinced that this will lead us to a country of "hope and reassurance," where the young people have hope for the future and the elderly people have a sense of reassurance. I will give all that I possess and make endeavors, so that we can overcome the fierce currents of the times with the entire nation, and feel for ourselves that we are making steady steps along the path to the future."

The outline of the speech is as follows: (Introduction) (Conduct of Diet Affairs) -- The mission of politics to safeguard people's lives and uphold the national interests. -- As the leader in charge of the government, engaging in sincere consultations with opposition parties on important policy issues in conducting the affairs of state. (Recovering Trust in Politics and the Administration) -- Improving the situation and enhancing transparency in political funding. -- Advancing reform of the public service system. -- Further advancing integrated reform of expenditures and revenues, including definitely achieving a surplus in the primary balance of the central and local governments combined in FY 2011. -- Endeavor to realize fundamental reform of the taxation system, including the consumption tax. (Developing a Trustworthy Social Security System) -- Resolve the various issues that relate to the pension system. -- Designing the system from a long-term perspective to ensure that pension payments will be made stably into the future. -- Striving to enhance emergency medical care by taking measures to address the shortage of doctors, especially pediatricians and obstetrician-gynecologists. -- Creating systems that will ensure that patients needing emergency treatment can be admitted. -- The examination of how our medical care system should be for the elderly.

(Shifting to Politics that Put Priority on the Safety and Security of the People)

-- Working to strengthen administrative functions for protecting consumers. -- Ensuring the safety and security of our food. -- The aim of "zero fatalities" in the event when disasters do occur. (Realizing a Society that Supports Child-Raising) -- Establishing a reliable public education. -- Striving to establish a well-modulated salary structure for teachers. -- Working to realize a "gender-equal society," -- Promoting a better balance of work and family life. (Continuing to Advance Reform and Achieving Stable Growth) -- Reform and stable economic growth. -- Working to promote domestic and foreign investment. -- Taking steps to materialize the Asian Gateway Initiative. -- Advancing measures to make Japan a tourist destination. -- Strengthening our competitiveness in the financial sector. -- Advancing an intellectual property strategy. (Response to the Issues of "Disparities") -- Thinking about what is necessary to maintain daily life and vitalize industry in accordance with various situations faced by each local region. -- Advancing structural reforms for regional revitalization. -- Furthering transfer power to local governments. -- Striving for local tax and financial reforms. -- Accelerating our deliberations toward realizing the system of a broader regional government. (doshu-sei) -- Aiming at safe and secure urban development. -- Giving assistance responding to people's hard-work based on the "agricultural policies on the offensive." -- Striving to realize growth that maintains harmony between large enterprises on the one hand and small and medium enterprises. -- Advancing measures that nourish workers, such as the promotion of a shift from irregular to regular employment, improvement of working conditions. (Converting to a Society that Respects the Environment for the Future) -- Steering ourselves to a "sustainable society" -- The endeavors toward the "200 Year Housing" -- Making efforts to prevent global warming. -- Creating a framework in which all major greenhouse gas emitters can participate, in order to achieve the goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as envisioned in the initiative "Cool Earth 50." (Diplomacy which Contributes to Peace) -- Maintaining the solid Japan-U.S. alliance and promoting international cooperation. -- The continuation of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's support activities in the Indian Ocean. -- The early resolution of issues related to North Korea. -- Promoting active diplomacy toward Asia. -- Pursuing U.N. Security Council reform and permanent membership on the Security Council. -- Promoting assistance on issues such as global environment and poverty. (Conclusion --- Toward a Society of Self-Reliance and Mutual Cooperation) For further information: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/hukudaspeech/2007/10/01syosin_e.html CONTACT: Cabinet Public Relations Office, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of Japan, Fax: +81-3-3592-0179

SOURCE Cabinet Secretariat, Government of Japan

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