Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Delivered Policy Speech to the Diet

Sept. 10, 2007

TOKYO , Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a general policy speech in a plenary session of the Diet on September 10, 2007 .

Prime Minister Abe stated in his speech, "We must not stop this reform -- for the future of our country and for our children. It was out of this sole determination that I decided to stay on. I would like to fulfill my responsibilities to the people by further advancing reforms with renewed determination, with the remorse based on the harsh election results and the resolve to fight for the people."

Prime Minister Abe concluded his speech to say, "The statecraft I aspire for is one that, while adapting to severe changes in the environment surrounding our country, safeguards and nurtures the values that Japan possesses intrinsically, which we can still find in our daily lives such as a sense of self-discipline, compassion and warmth for others; statecraft that enables each and every person to feel true richness and satisfaction in their daily lives; namely, statecraft that advances the creation of a beautiful country. With a vision of how Japan should be in 50 years, and in 100 years, and never losing sight of our origins, I solemnly swear that I will give all my body and soul to fulfill the responsibilities of the Prime Minister."

The outline of the speech is as follows: (Introduction) (Reconstructing a Trustworthy Pension System) - Getting to the bottom of the pension record problem. - To make the public pension a foundation of national daily life. (Making the Dividends of Reforms to be Felt by the Regions) - Further transfer of power to local governments, correction of tax revenue disparities among regions and acceleration a broader regional government. (doshu-sei) - To support improving vocational skills, raising the minimum wage, improving the productivities of small and medium enterprises, newly establishing a Regional Vitality Restoration Organization. - "Agricultural policies on the offensive". (Taking Concrete Steps to Achieve Education Rebuilding) - "Shoring up academic abilities", "trial experiences", "moral education". - "To establish a well-modulated salary structure for teachers", "strive to smoothly implement a renewal system for teaching licenses". (Realizing a Society in Which People Can Live with a Sense of Security) - Enforcing correct food labeling. - Establishing a system of emergency medical services can be received even during the night. "Resolving the shortage of doctors in local regions" - "To make schools and other public facilities as well as houses more resistant to earthquakes". - Creating systems to provide information to the elderly. - "Ensuring that nuclear power plants respond properly when earthquakes occur". - To expand diverse and attentive day care services and to advance a review of the ways in which people work so that they can strike a balance between work and family life.

(Realizing Sustainable Economic Growth and Creating a Streamlined Government)

- Making the economy more open to the outside world. - Carrying out administrative and financial reforms aimed at "zero waste". - Reform of expenditures and revenues. - Creating a new mold of civil servants who will shoulder the administration of the country in the 21st century. - To realize fundamental reform of the taxation system, including the consumption tax. (Carrying Forward Proactive Diplomacy) - Continuing the Maritime Self-Defense Force's operations based on the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law. - To restructure Japan's national security system. - The realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan. - To resolve North Korea's abduction, nuclear and missile issues (Leading the World on Environment) - "Cool Earth 50" - Compatibility between environment and economy. - The G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit. (Conclusion) For further information: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/abespeech/2007/09/10syosin_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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