(Provisional Translation)

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

4 July 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. This Cabinet must first and foremost work to ensure the success of the upcoming G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit. I urge you to exert yourselves as this Cabinet strives toward this objective.

  2. As we stand at the dawning of the 21st century, Japan is approaching a critical moment in its progression to the rebirth of the nation. Designating this Cabinet as "the Cabinet for the Rebirth of Japan," I am determined to exert all possible efforts toward the realization of "a nation of people who live in security embracing our dreams for the future," "a nation of beauty rich in spirit" and "a nation that engenders the trust of the world." I ask for the valued cooperation of all Cabinet members as we prepare the Plan for the Rebirth of Japan for its swift implementation.

  3. Our most urgent task at present is to ensure the full-fledged recovery of the Japanese economy. I therefore urge your cooperation as we continue to work to secure employment, and, as an interim measure, swiftly expend the reserve fund for public work projects and other programs. I also call on you to strive toward the promotion of the information technology (IT) revolution, a trigger for economic development; the promotion of economic structural reform through industrial and urban rebirth, deregulation and other measures; and the reform of the judicial system.

    I also urge you to make active efforts in the reform of social security and educational reform from a comprehensive, mid- to long-term perspective, while listening to the voices of Japanese people across all sectors of society.

  4. Only six months remain until the reorganization of the central ministries and agencies on 6 January 2001. I ask for your further efforts and cooperation in facilitating the reorganization. Further, in order to ensure that this reform produces the desired effect, it is vital that we work to improve the quality of officials responsible for the workings of systems and organizations. For this reason I urge you to work to strengthen close coordination among ministries and agencies and develop human resources with a broader perspective through actively promoting personnel exchange among ministries and agencies.

    I call on you to make continued efforts to advance decentralization and reduce the number of government employees and administrative costs.

    I urge you to work to improve government services for the Japanese people and to strive toward securing the government for the people. I also call on you to make all possible efforts to ensure the trust of the Japanese people in the government and to maintain discipline among employees.

  5. In order to do away with the financial rigidity caused by the bureaucratic budget allocation to be made through the existing ministries and agencies and with a view to enhancing efficiency and quality of our administration of national finances, I shall convene a top-level meeting of finance between the Government and the ruling parties in regard to the preparation of the FY2001 budget. I ask for the cooperation of all Cabinet members in this new undertaking, which will enable the leadership of the Prime Minister to be more powerfully exercised.

  6. I urge you to exert every possible effort in conducting crisis management for natural disasters, accidents and other incidents and in providing assistance to sufferers, including measures to address the volcanic eruptions and earthquakes of Mt. Usu in Hokkaido and Miyakejima Island and Kozushima Island belonging to the Tokyo Metropolis.

  7. In conducting state affairs, I urge you to engage in active discussion among yourselves regardless of your ministerial jurisdiction and concerns. However, the Constitution of Japan provides that the Cabinet, in which executive power is vested, shall be collectively responsible to the Diet. I would therefore ask you to observe government policies unanimously once the Cabinet has decided them, and to cooperate in maintaining the unity of the Cabinet and the dignity of the state administration.