December 4, 1997
1. The expectations of the nation for administrative reform are extremely great, and thus the responsibility of the government is grave. For this reason, we will respect the contents of the final report of the Administrative Reform Council (issued on December 3, 1997) to the greatest degree possible and immediately adopt preparatory arrangements for the tasks including the reorganization of central government ministries and agencies.
2. In the next ordinary session of the National Diet, we shall present a basic legislative bill for the reorganization of central government ministries and agencies (hereafter referred to as "basic bill"), and seek its passage. For the preparation of the basic bill, we hereby establish a Preparatory Committee for Central Government Reorganization (hereafter referred to as "Committee").
(1) The Committee shall be composed as indicated below. However, attendance of persons other than the members may be requested as necessary.
|Vice-Chairmen||Chief Cabinet Secretary|
|Minister of State in Charge of Administrative Reform|
|Members||All other Ministers of State|
(2) The Committee will have secretaries; these shall consist of the following persons:
|Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Administrative)|
|Special Advisor to the Prime Minister for Administrative Reform|
|Deputy Director-General of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau|
|All Administrative Vice-Ministers|
|Director-General of the National Police Agency|
|Director of the Cabinet Councillors' Office on Internal Affairs|
|Deputy Vice-Minister of the Prime Minister's Office|
(3) The Committee shall have a small number of advisors. The advisors will be appointed by the Chairman from among academic experts well-versed in administrative law and other subjects; they will deliberate on the contents of the basic bill and will be given authority to express their views.
(4) The general affairs of the Committee shall be handled by the Cabinet Secretariat; for this purpose, a Preparatory Office for the Basic Bill to Reorganize Central Government (hereafter referred to as "Preparatory Office") is hereby established within the Cabinet Secretariat.
(5) The Preparatory Office shall have a director, a deputy director, and other staff members as necessary.
(6) Matters relating to the operation of the Preparatory Committee and any other matters necessary shall be determined by the Chairman.
3. After the basic bill is passed, a Central Government Reorganization Headquarters (tentatively named) and its Secretariat shall be established to carry out the necessary preparations for the shift to the new organizational setup, including relevant legislative measures. When the Headquarters and Secretariat are established, the Preparatory Committee and Preparatory Office shall be abolished.
December 4, 1997
The Government of Japan has today decided that it will respect the contents of the final report of the Administrative Reform Council to the greatest degree possible and immediately adopt preparatory arrangements for the tasks including the reorganization of central government ministries and agencies.
This report adopts as its basic principle that, based on a careful consideration of Japan's future, the country's administrative system, which has ceased to fit the times with the passage of five decades since the end of World War II, must be thoroughly reformed into one suited to the formation of a free and fair society for the twenty-first century in order to create a society full of vigor and confidence. The report contains a broad range of contents related to the achievement of this objective, covering such areas as the strengthening of the Cabinet's functions, the proper new shape for central government ministries and agencies, the downsizing and improvement of the efficiency of administrative functions, and reform of the civil service.
The Government will present a basic legislative bill for the reorganization of central government ministries and agencies and other necessary measures to the next ordinary session of the National Diet and seek its passage. After this bill is passed, the Government will carry out the necessary preparations for the shift to the new organizational setup, including relevant legislative measures, aiming to commence this shift within no more than five years, and if possible, by January 1, 2001, when the twenty-first century will begin.
The process of administrative reform, however, is still in midcourse. Rather, we are only at a new starting point for further review of the essence of public administration and of how the national government should involve itself with local governments and with the population. In addition, administrative reform alone would not suffice; it must serve as a catalyst, so to speak, for the efforts to achieve a comprehensive transformation of our country's postwar social and economic systems. Towards this end, the Government will continue to devote its utmost energies to the achievement of reforms not only in public administration but also in the other five areas it has targeted, namely, fiscal structure, social security, economic structure, the financial system, and education.
The Government hereby reaffirms its strong determination to accomplish these reforms and requests the further understanding and cooperation of the nation.