5 April 2000
Having devoted his whole career to politics, former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi was a man of unstinting action with valuable connections spanning far and wide, who, never reflecting on himself and at personal risk to his health, strove to boldly address complex issues at home and abroad for the sake of the nation and the people. It is for these reasons that the former Cabinetfs greatest challenge-the revitalization of the Japanese economy-is being realized as we have now overcome the crisis situation and begun to see signs toward a self-sustaining recovery. I feel immense regret that at such an important time, Mr. Obuchi has unfortunately been taken ill with only half his aspirations fulfilled. I would like to offer a heartfelt prayer for Mr. Obuchifs speedy recovery.
Having assumed the office of Prime Minister, I have today inaugurated a coalition Cabinet in cooperation with the New Komeito and Reformersf Network Party and the New Conservative Party. Under the stable government built upon firm relations of trust among the three coalition parties, based upon the results achieved by the coalition government until now, and taking into consideration the importance of continuity of policy, I shall accurately address the various issues we face, including economic measures, and toward the approaching 21st century, work to actively promote the creation of a rich and dynamic nation and the development of talented human resources who shall underpin such a nation. In asking all the members of the previous Cabinet to reassume their posts, I shall exert the utmost efforts in the passing of bills of direct importance to the daily lives of the people of Japan, taking measures to address the Mt. Usu volcanic eruption, addressing scandals involving public employees of the National Police Agency and other organizations, preparations for the approaching Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, the reorganization of the central ministries and agencies and the steady promotion of decentralization, as well as all other issues.
As the person responsible for the administration of state affairs, I am determined to strive toward effecting a rebirth of Japan, and to respond to the trust placed in me by the people of Japan as I confront these trying situations.
I humbly ask for the support and cooperation of the people of Japan.