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The Prime Minister in Action

Jiji Press New Year Party

January 5, 2016

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

  • Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

[Provisional Translation]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the Jiji Press New Year Party held in Tokyo.

The Prime Minister said in his address,

“I wish you all a very happy New Year. The weather over the New Year’s period has been very moderate. I truly hope that Japan’s future over the year ahead will be similarly moderate.

2016 is the year of the hinoe-saru or fire monkey. Sixty years ago, which was also the year of the fire monkey, the Economic White Paper had just been released, and the famous phrase, “Japan is no longer in the post-war period,” was announced to society.

Three years have passed since the inauguration of the Abe administration. We set exiting deflation as one of our major objectives, and now, after three years, I think that as a result of everyone’s hard work, we have created conditions in which we can say, “Japan is no longer in deflation.”

The key message hidden in the phrase “Japan is no longer in the post-war period” from 60 years ago was that growth resulting from the recovery from the devastation of war had reached its end, and that Japan must now embark on new challenges

Likewise, the Abe administration must now truly make a new start. We have established the new targets of “achieving the largest GDP in postwar history of 600 trillion yen,” “realizing the desired birthrate of 1.8 children per woman,” and “reducing the number of people who leave employment to provide nursing care to zero.” I would like to begin the year by launching these new “three arrows.”

Moreover, at the same time, although it is not so widely known, the Economic White Paper of 60 years ago included another phrase: “Adopting new things always brings resistance.” Whenever you try to do something new, there is certain to be resistance. Even after 60 years have passed, this fact has not really changed. I feel that whenever I use the new phrase of “a society in which all one hundred million-plus citizens are each dynamically engaged,” there is heated resistance, or perhaps I should call it criticism. However, I believe that now is indeed the time to thoroughly face the challenge of achieving this goal, and unless we do so, we cannot maintain a population of one hundred million and continue to grow.

Today I went to pay my respects at Ise Shrine. This year the Ise-Shima Summit will be held. Japan will also serve as chair of the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting. Moreover, TICAD will be held in Africa for the first time. Furthermore, Japan will become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. I believe that this is truly a year when Japan must lead diplomatic efforts in the international community.

Global conditions are certainly chaotic and severe conditions persist. Nevertheless, working together with the other countries of the world, at this Summit we intend to have frank and candid discussions with the G7 leaders on global issues, and achieve results.

This year there will also be a House of Councillors’ election. That means a year of fighting, but first, before that, we hope to get the supplementary budget passed in the Diet as soon as possible, and then move onto the main budget. Furthermore, there are also TPP-related bills. At the same time, we must begin a new era of agricultural policies, and there are also bills related to the realization of “a society in which all one hundred million-plus citizens are each dynamically engaged.” As we comprehensively implement these matters, I would like to receive the judgement of the people.

I would like to conclude my remarks by wishing you all a wonderful year ahead. Once again, happy New Year!”

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