(Provisional Translation)

Statement by Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori at the First Meeting of the New Cabinet

5 April 2000

On the occasion of the first meeting of the new Cabinet, I would like to explain my policy agenda and ask for the valued cooperation of the members of the Cabinet.

1. I urge all of you to exert every effort under the stable tripartite coalition government comprising the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the New Komeito and the Reformersf Network Party, and the New Conservative Party, to promptly address the various issues we face, including economic measures, while bearing in mind the importance of continuity in the policies set forth by the previous Cabinet, to rise to the expectations of the people and engender their trust.

2. With respect to measures to address the eruption of Mt. Usu in Hokkaido, whose future situation remains unclear, I ask that you work with the utmost resolve to ensure the safety of the local residents and provide assistance and other support for their daily lives during the evacuation period.

3. I ask you to spare no effort in working to facilitate the reorganization of the central ministries and agencies in January 2001. In the process, I ask you to exert your efforts decisively, not from the perspective of compartmentalized and rigid administrative jurisdiction, but from a wide-ranging perspective which encompasses all aspects of the administration of state affairs. Above all, I ask that you actively promote the exchange of personnel between ministries and agencies with a view to overcoming the rigidity of the compartmentalized bureaucracies, strengthening close coordination among all ministries and agencies and making full use of our human resources from the broad perspective.
Furthermore, I ask you to continue to make efforts to advance decentralization.

4. I ask for your valued cooperation toward ensuring the success of the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit to be held this summer.

5. Causing significant damage to the credibility of the government in the eyes of the people, the repeated scandals involving public employees are truly deplorable. I urge you to strictly instruct and monitor your subordinates on the basis of the enactment of the National Public Service Ethics Law in order to ensure the ethical integrity of government employees.

6. The Constitution of Japan provides that the Cabinet, in which executive power is vested, in the exercise of executive power, shall be collectively responsible to the Diet. I would therefore ask for your cooperation in conducting state affairs, i.e. engaging in active deliberation, carrying out coherently and faithfully the government policies once the Cabinet has decided them, and thus maintaining the unity of the Cabinet and the dignity of the state administration.