Statement by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
It was against the backdrop of an unprecedented Diet situation in which the resolutions of the two Houses were opposed that I assumed the post of Prime Minister while concealing within myself an unshakeable sense of mission.
My sense of mission called for me to put in place clear guideposts for Japan and the people of Japan without consideration as to the life of the Cabinet, and then to have these guideposts securely in place for the next generation.
Under a situation in which the Diet proceedings were subjected to delays, the extraordinary Diet session required an additional extension in order to pass the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law; the enactment of the revenue bill was also delayed by over a month following the passage of the budget; and four candidates for the Governor and the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Japan were rejected.
What I consider to be most important is "the people's trust in politics." That is why I am keenly aware of my own responsibility for being unable to mount a sufficient response, whatever the reasons underlying these delays and the rejections may have been.
Today, things are changing drastically both in Japan and internationally. The time has come to realize that the ideas and methods of conventional politics and the administration, such as "expanding and strengthening productivity," are no longer leading to the increased happiness of the people.
We believed that traditional politics and the administration must be reviewed fundamentally.
As a result, we decided to formulate the Law to Establish an Agency for Consumer Affairs. We have done all we could to reallocate revenue sources earmarked for roads to the revenues used for general purposes; to reform the civil service system to realize an administration that shares the people's standpoint; to further reduce administrative expenditures; and to pursue other endeavors.
The public's viewpoint, as I understand it, entails coordinating these various measures and establishing them as a structure. Although this reform has just begun, I am convinced that we have put in place guideposts that indicate the direction in which we should be heading.
The Japanese economy has passed a turning point. We are now facing the need to deal with structural issues such as tightening supplies of resources and rising prices, the changeover to a low-carbon society, the problems generated by the excesses of the financial economy, and the declining population.
Nothing is more important than to maintain political stability at the present time, faced as we are with a host of domestic and international issues, beginning with the effort to tackle the environmental issues that I proposed at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit and elsewhere. Accordingly, I have resigned from the post of Prime Minister based on my own sense of mission.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere gratitude to the people of Japan for their warm support.
September 24, 2008
Prime Minister of Japan