The Prime Minister Attends the General Assembly of the Regular Members of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI)
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda attended the 115th general assembly of the regular members of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) held at a hotel in Tokyo.
The Prime Minister said in his address, "It is about six months since the inauguration of the Noda Cabinet on September 2 last year. The three top priorities of our Cabinet are (1) recovery and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, (2) the fight against the nuclear power station accident, and (3) the revitalization of the Japanese economy. In addition to these we need to work on the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems. Decisive politics is needed to squarely face these challenges. I want to realize politics that can move things forward.
Speaking of disaster waste management and wide-area disposal of disaster-related debris, there are about 22 million tons of debris that arose from the March 2011 earthquake. It would take 19 years for Miyagi Prefecture, and 11 years for Iwate Prefecture, to dispose of them. It would be impossible for the disaster-stricken regions to deal with all of this alone. Mutual help and support must continue. That is why I would like to ask cement, paper, and chemicals manufacturers to utilize their incineration facilities for this purpose.
For Japan as a trading nation to achieve development and growth of its economy, it is essential that we draw on the vitality of the global economy. I want to see small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), too, be proactive about overseas business development in order to capture global demands. Our plan is to compile the Strategy for Rebirth of Japan by this summer, and I would like to include revitalization of SMEs as one of its pillars.
We cannot afford any more time to lapse for the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems. We cannot build a sustainable social security system on a structure in which the majority of social security benefits go to the elderly and the majority of social security burdens are shouldered by working people. We are in a situation where support is also needed for those supporting the system, by such means as child-rearing assistance. I believe that the system should be reformed into an 'all-Japan system,' so that consumption tax can be allocated to social security under the principle that all generations should bear the responsibility to help and support each other, instead of trying to have it all covered by income taxes and insurance premiums from the working people.
The Council to Support Small Enterprises met recently. We have so far allocated about 30 trillion yen through succeeding supplementary budgets for financial assistance to SMEs, in order to make sure that business owners of SMEs and micro-enterprises do not end up being cash strapped. I would like to commit the government's full efforts into continuing fine-tuned support for them to survive the end of this fiscal year."