Statement by Prime Minister Naoto Kan upon the General Resignation of the Kan Cabinet
30 August 2011
Today, my Cabinet and I have resigned en masse.
Since the inauguration of my Cabinet in June of last year, we have directly taken on policy issues that had previously been put off by others in coalition with the People's New Party. Upon assuming office as Prime Minister, I made the objective of my political leadership "Achieving a Society with the Least Unhappiness", under which I promoted the New Growth Strategy that emphasized securing employment, resolution of issues through task force teams, and reforms to increase regional sovereignty.
I carried out energetic discussions on the reform of social security and financial policy, ultimately compiling a final draft proposal on the integrated reform of the social security and tax systems. This issue must not be delayed any longer. It is my earnest hope that this reform is promoted in the future through such means as discussion between the ruling and opposition parties.
In terms of diplomacy, I have worked to strengthen the Japan-US Alliance through such efforts as Japan-US summit meetings, while also deepening relations with neighboring countries by hosting the APEC meeting in Yokohama. In terms of security, I also oversaw the drafting of the new National Defense Program Guidelines.
The March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting nuclear power station accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station caused large-scale and widespread damage. In response to this unprecedented disaster, I immediately commenced efforts to rescue victims, and later worked together with the affected areas in doing everything I could to promote the recovery and reconstruction of the region, including the construction of temporary housing, removal of rubble, and provision of livelihood assistance for affected citizens.
I have also exerted every effort to resolving the nuclear power station accident, and as a result, I was able to successfully bring the reactors to the state of 'stable cooling'. Moreover, in response to this accident, I decided to revise energy policy from scratch, form a scenario to reduce dependence on nuclear power, thoroughly reexamine nuclear power policy, and carry out fundamental reform of organizations that regulate nuclear power safety.
Nevertheless, Japan still faces many challenges. I expect the new Cabinet to push forward with further efforts in working towards recovery and reconstruction in the affected areas and to bring the nuclear power station accident to conclusion.
I offer my deepest apologies for issues that my Cabinet and I were unable to fully address during my time as Prime Minister. I will leave future generations to judge how we should be evaluated in history, but my Cabinet and I have utilized every one of our strengths to address the issues that lay before us in a wholehearted manner. I sincerely hope that Japan will achieve a robust recovery from the disaster under the leadership of the new Cabinet.
I would like to express my gratitude for the assistance and cooperation of every citizen during my time as Prime Minister. Thank you very much.