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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

An extraordinary Cabinet meeting was held earlier today. As stated in the Prime Minister's statement that was distributed, per article 70 of the Constitution the Cabinet resigned en masse following the special Diet session. The statement entitled "Prime Minister's Statement upon the General Resignation of the Cabinet" was approved at the Cabinet Meeting earlier today. Today is the last of the Noda Cabinet's 482 days in office. Today's press conference is the last of my regular press conferences and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Cabinet Press Club and reporters assigned to cover the Chief Cabinet Secretary for your guidance and support. Thank you very much. It has been one year and three months, or 482 days, since the Noda Cabinet took office. Since the forming of the Noda Cabinet, there have been three priority issues that we have addressed: recovery and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, the fight against the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, and the revitalization of the Japanese economy. Whole heartedly and with the utmost effort we addressed these three major issues. In terms of diplomatic matters, I believe that the Noda Cabinet has made significant progress in issues such as the rebuilding of the Japan-US Alliance, enhancing economic partnership and securing energy resources. I believe that our progress has been regarded an accomplishment. I also believe that the Noda Cabinet has successfully paved a way forward for the next generation to take over. Specifically we have enacted bills and legislation on the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems, and established the National Council on Social Security System Reform. At the beginning of its time in office, the Noda Cabinet was often likened to a loach, and I believe that we have truly worked hard in moving a step or two closer to carrying out the policies that make decisions for fulfilling the responsibility for tomorrow. It is with this frame of mind that we have been tirelessly working for the last 482 days. When I assumed the post of Chief Cabinet Secretary on September 2, I was asked what kind of Chief Cabinet Secretary I was. I answered under the assumption that there were two or three kinds of Chief Cabinet Secretaries - as we have seen in the past - and said that I wanted to be the Prime Minister's right hand man, meaning that I wanted to take a behind-the-scenes role. I have been working with this in mind and I believe that I have stayed faithful to this throughout my time in office. I have been informed that in terms of duration of tenure, I am the 19th longest serving out of 56 Chief Cabinet Secretaries. While the last 482 days sounds like a long period, at the same time standing here at the end of my tenure, that period also seems extremely short. With the Diet being divided, the realization of policy was invariably accompanied by difficulties. In terms of recent risk management by which I am referring to a number of events, and not just one, I believe that we have been vigilantly shouldering the load and fulfilling our responsibility. As for the abduction issue, Japan-North Korea intergovernmental consultations recommenced after four years without progress. Unfortunately, the second round of consultations which was to involve Director-General level representatives has been postponed, but we would like to pass this progress onto the next Cabinet to ensure that this problem will not come to a halt again, and that it is resolved as early as possible. I would very much like to pass the important issues that we have worked on throughout the course of the last year and three months to the next Cabinet. I expect that under the new leadership we will see an even more effective management of state affairs. I, as the Government spokesperson, would once again like to express my gratitude for your guidance.



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