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Statement by Prime Minister Abe (Cabinet Decision on October 7, 2015)

October 7, 2015

Cabinet Decision
[Provisional Translation]

Endless deflation. Threats closing in on our beautiful seas and land. Three years ago, Japan was facing such a national crisis that some even said it had become “the land of the setting sun.” The sense of crisis we felt at that time became a major catalyst for political change.

It has been over 1,000 days since then. We have seen the “three arrows” economic policies, along with the most drastic reforms since the end of World War II. The Abe Cabinet has exerted every effort to “restore Japan.”

Over one million people have found employment, and the ratio of job offers to job seekers is at its highest level in 23 years. We have achieved an increase in wages of over 2% for the past two years. This spring, we saw the highest growth in wages in 17 years. Even the number of bankruptcies among small- and medium sized as well as micro enterprises has declined dramatically, reaching its lowest level in the past 24 years.

In the first 1,000 days of Abenomics, we realized a positive economic cycle and brought Japan to a point that is no longer deflationary. Our full exit from deflation is at hand.

In the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, people are moving into public housing for disaster-stricken households. Steady progress is being made on the reconstruction of housing and employment.

The bonds of the Japan-US Alliance have been fully restored. Our positive economic diplomacy and peaceful diplomacy, advanced from a panoramic perspective of the globe, is yielding tremendous results. And the foundation of our security frameworks has been further reinforced.

Japan is finally ready to welcome a new morning.

And so it is now, of all times, that we must begin renewed nation-building.

We will put a halt to the trends of the aging population and declining birthrate, and maintain a population of over one hundred million people for the next 50 years. We will also build a society in which all people - elderly or young, male or female, and those with intractable illnesses or disabilities - can take another step forward beyond where they now stand.

I have reshuffled my Cabinet today so that we can make a strong start on this.

With this new Cabinet, we will hoist high the flag of “Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens” initiative and fire the new “three arrows” forcefully, seeking to attain the three major targets of raising GDP to 600 trillion yen, our largest in the post-war era; raising the birthrate to 1.8 children per woman, which is the level the public has indicated as desirable; and eliminating cases in which people have no choice but to leave their jobs to provide nursing care.

All of these efforts represent attempts to put an end to structural issues that have gone unresolved for many years. They are not simple issues that come with a ready-made blueprint.

Yet we must not ignore them. We must not give up. We will hand down to our children’s and grandchildren’s generations a Japan of which we can be proud. This is the greatest responsibility of all of us alive today.

A strong Japan. Someone else is not going to create that for us. It is something that we must build ourselves.

Together, we will make bold attempts to resolve these major issues. I am determined to give absolutely everything I have at the forefront of those efforts. Once again, I ask for the understanding and cooperation of the public as we take on the challenges of the next Abe Cabinet.

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