Address by Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori Announcing the General Resignation
of the Cabinet

April 26, 2001

Today, the Cabinet members of my administration have resigned.

Since my appointment as Prime Minister of Japan in April last year, following former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi's sudden illness, in a little over the space of one year, I have made the Rebirth of Japan the objective of my Cabinet, to help bring about hopes and vitality for the future of Japan and her people. I have made every effort to tackle a wide range of challenges and have succeeded in setting a course for the future in a variety of areas.

Of these, in the area of the information technology (IT) revolution, which will be key to social and economic development in the 21st century, in addition to successfully instituting the Basic Law on the Formation of an Advanced Information and Telecommunications Network Society (IT Basic Law), the "e-Japan" strategy has been set in place, which both the private and public sectors are promoting vigorously.

In January this year central government administration underwent a process of reform of historic scale, equivalent to that of the previous reforms at the time of the Meiji Restoration and the post-war reforms, and we have succeeded in smoothly launching the new system of one Cabinet Office and 12 Ministries. What is more, administrative reforms such as the reform of the civil servant system have been progressed, that will breathe new life into the new central government structure.

Concerning foreign policy, in addition to successfully hosting the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, the realization of which was former Prime Minister Obuchi's strongest desire, I have aimed for a new multi-faceted development in Japan's diplomacy for the 21st century. This has included summit meetings with the leaders of the United States and the Russian Federation, and I also visited Southwest Asia and actively sought to make the first visit as an incumbent Japanese Prime Minister to Sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition to successfully compiling the fiscal 2001 budget in order to achieve economic recovery - the gravest task currently facing Japan - and in order to establish a foundation for the new century, on 6 April Emergency Economic Package was decided, demonstrating to the people of Japan and indeed the world, Japan's firm resolve to tackle economic structural adjustment and avoid deflation.

At the same time, it is a fact that recently various scandals have successively rocked our nation's political arena and I am gravely aware and humbly reflective of the extremely severe judgment that the people of our nation have rendered. My decision to step down stems from my view that if we are to restore the faith of the people in politics, it is imperative that we do so under a new structure which will continue to tackle the mounting number of issues that affect Japan, both at home and abroad.

Though the economy and society of Japan are currently facing a severe situation, in order to cut a path through to fresh prospects, I believe it is necessary that each and every person channels all their efforts into proceeding courageously with sweeping reforms.

I most humbly offer my appreciation to the people of Japan for their warm support and cooperation.