Statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the "Direction and Strategy for the Japanese Economy" (Cabinet Decision) in Response to the Report by the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (CEFP)
January 25, 2007
The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (CEFP) has deliberated issues of importance to the current Cabinet, including what kind of economic society Japan should aim for and what form our mid-term policy should take for future economic and fiscal operations so that we may achieve that aim. I have decided today through a Cabinet decision to formalize the CEFP's report entitled "Direction and Strategy for the Japanese Economy" as the policy of my government.
The Japanese economy has emerged from a long tunnel of stagnation and is finally returning to a normal state. Now is the time for us to set new goals and begin to implement a strategy that will allow us to achieve them.
For Japan to continue to prosper in the 21st century as "a beautiful country," an economy full of vitality is indispensable as its foundation. It is a fact that Japan faces diverse challenges and restrictions on growth resulting from factors such as a declining population. At the same time, we must never forget that all around us are the buds of new growth in the form of the potential for growth that innovation can bring and the potential for growth in Asia to enhance the vitality of our nation. We must nurture these buds so that they blossom and lead to continued growth.
Recognizing this, I believe that we must aim to make our country into an economic society full of opportunities that guarantees anybody with eagerness and capacity a chance to challenge again and again and a healthy and safe society, both underpinned by a socioeconomic system supported by freedom and discipline. An administrative and financial system that befits this 21st century will be a vital foundation for such a society. In particular, we must absolutely advance efforts to redress fiscal deficit, an endeavor which is one wheel sharing an axel with economic growth, by effecting an integral reform of expenditures and revenue. With these goals in mind, and in accordance with the "Direction and Strategy" I will strategically advance economic and fiscal policies as I accelerate and deepen reform.
There are a countless number of people who earnestly and tacitly strive each day to do their part in their own place in diverse workplaces in different regions of our country. We, the Japanese people, are endowed with unlimited potential and vitality. Indeed, to draw these out is the very core of my vision of creating "a beautiful country." That is why I will carry out these reforms.
In this I ask for the understanding and cooperation of the people of Japan.