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The Prime Minister in Action

National Assembly of the JF (Japan Fisheries Cooperatives) Representatives

November 22, 2019

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

  • Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address
[Provisional Translation]
On November 22, 2019, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the National Assembly of the JF (Japan Fisheries Cooperatives) Representatives held in Tokyo.
The Prime Minister said in his address,
“I express my heartfelt congratulations to the National Assembly of the JF Representatives with so many participants from across the country.
The recent Typhoon No. 15** and Typhoon No. 19* caused terrible damage to fishing ports and fisheries facilities. I extend my heartfelt sympathies to everyone who has been affected by these disasters.
The Government has compiled a policy package towards the rebuilding of lives and ‘nariwai’ (occupations and livelihoods that sustain people’s daily lives), and as the first step to implement these measures immediately, a Cabinet decision was made to disburse over 130 billion yen of contingency funds. Moreover, we will formulate a supplementary budget to provide seamless support for recovery and reconstruction in the affected areas.
In Japan, which is surrounded by water on every side and possesses bountiful fishing grounds, the fisheries industry has been vibrant from old times and beautiful fishing villages were formed in every corner of the coastal areas. Shimonoseki City, which is my hometown, is also a fishery city. The very first important party position in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which was held by my father Abe Shintaro, was the Director of the Fisheries Division. Shimonoseki City, which was crowded with coastal and pelagic operators, has played a significant role in Japan’s food culture as the birthplace of the modern whaling industry as well as the home of Shimonoseki fugu (blowfish).
In the past, Japan boasted the world’s largest fisheries yields. Today, it has decreased to less than half of what they were at their peak. The Abe Cabinet has worked on reforms of the fisheries policy with the strong sense of urgency that we must do something for this precious industry.
We aim at balancing the profitability of the fisheries industry and sustainable use of resources, and increasing the income of fishers. We look squarely at your concerns and worries over our reform this time and, listening sincerely to your voices, implement politics steadily.
At the same time, we will strongly support your initiatives to increase productivity, including supporting the introduction of new fishing boats and gears with a budget of over 300 billion yen.
The world’s fisheries markets will continue to expand. This will provide a tremendous opportunity for Japan’s fisheries industry. While Japan’s population is unfortunately decreasing, the fisheries markets are expanding alongside global population growth. Japan must seize this opportunity.
In this current session of the Diet, a new act to accelerate the export of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries products has been enacted. We intend to urge relevant countries to ease their import restrictions with an ‘All Japan’ effort and sell our safe and delicious fisheries products all around the world.
The leadership of Fisheries Cooperatives, such as taking the lead in resource management and productivity improvement, as well as taking on new challenges like the export of products, will give vigor and energy to the fisheries industry. Let us strive to revive Japan’s fisheries industry, which used to be on top of the world.
Today, this hall is surrounded by these large tairyo-bata fishing boat flags, which signify a large catch. We want to advance reforms that make fishers’ incomes like large catches. We intend to implement policies to increase fishers’ incomes steadily.
In closing, I would like to wish for the continued success of everyone here, including President Kishi, and express my high hopes that this gathering will be an opportunity to realize an affluent fisheries industry and fishing villages. Congratulations on this successful event.”
*Typhoon Hagibis
**Typhoon Faxai

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