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Policy Speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the 168th Session of the Diet

Monday, September 10, 2007

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering a policy speech to the 168th Session of the Diet Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering a policy speech to the 168th Session of the Diet

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a policy speech to a plenary session of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors after the opening ceremony of the 168th session of the Diet.

At the outset, Prime Minister Abe expressed his sympathy to all the people who suffered damage due to the disasters caused by the earthquake off the coast of central Niigata prefecture and recent typhoons. The Prime Minister then continued that the recent Cabinet reshuffle will enable the "Policy Implementation Cabinet" to steadily advance policies with solid foundations on the ground, and said, "We will articulate our policies with confidence, and deepen constructive debates with the opposition parties, and do our best in sincerely coming up with answers to each and every question, so that the people can live without anxiety into the future."

Concerning the pension record problem, the Prime Minister said, "We will take all possible measures to correctly provide pension payments to the people who paid pension premiums sincerely. We will go after the causes and responsibilities rigorously. I will see to it that, by carrying out these two tasks completely, we will get to the bottom of the pension record problem, and resolve it without fail."

Furthermore, the Prime Minister expressed his basic policies on regional revitalization, education rebuilding, environment and realization of a society in which people can live with a sense of security. On diplomacy, the Prime Minister said, "I will continue to carry forward "Proactive Diplomacy," and said, "The Maritime Self-Defense Force's operations based on the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law provide an indispensable foundation for maritime interdiction operations jointly undertaken by many countries, and they are highly appreciated by the international community. Members of the Self-Defense Force diligently attending to their duties in the red-hot Indian Ocean -- this is the very form of international contribution the world expects of Japan. Would it really be appropriate to pull back now and abandon our responsibilities to the international community? I urge you to render your understanding, so that the operations can continue."

In conclusion, Prime Minister Abe referred to the issue of political funding, expressing his intention to do his utmost to regain the confidence of the people in politics as soon as possible.

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