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The Prime Minister in Action

Liaison Meeting of the Government and Ruling Parties

February 6, 2017

[Provisional Translation]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the Liaison Meeting of the Government and Ruling Parties at the Prime Minister's Office.

The Prime Minister said in his opening address,
“Concerning the easing of the burden of the official duties and public activities of His Majesty the Emperor, the Advisory Council compiled key points for future discussions on January 23. We have shown these key points to the Speaker and Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President and Vice-President of the House of Councillors, and each party and faction. I understand that discussion on this issue will be held in a calm manner in the Diet. The Government will take the discussion in the Diet seriously, and further advance consideration on this issue.

Last week, in the Diet, we passed the FY2016 third supplementary budget, which addresses matters such as disaster recovery and securing a stable operational structure for the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). The basic question and answer sessions on the budget for fiscal 2017 have ended. From today, we will begin general questions. I would like to express my gratitude for the efforts of everyone in the ruling parties up until this point, and ask for your continued cooperation as we work to pass the fiscal 2017 budget as soon as possible, in light of the fact that the greatest economic measure is the early passage of the fiscal 2017 budget.

Last month, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) reported cases of violations of the restrictions on reemployment of civil servants. Cases like these must not occur. It is because of the strict surveillance functions of the current system that these cases were discovered. Now that we have discovered these cases, we must work to dispel the mistrust that they have caused among the public. The Government will conduct a thorough investigation to make sure that other such cases have not occurred, not only in MEXT, but in all ministries and agencies. It will continue to be the basic policy of the Abe Cabinet to completely eliminate ‘Amakudari’ (the practice of civil servants obtaining posts in related organizations after retirement from public office). I intend to continue to secure the trust of the public with the mindset of doing everything that is needed.

Last week, I received a courtesy call from US Secretary of Defense Mattis. We shared the view that we will further strengthen the robust Japan-US Alliance, and have a more coordinated Japan-US response for peace and stability in the region. During that meeting, Secretary of Defense Mattis communicated that the Senkaku Islands are within the scope that is covered by Article 5 of the Japan-US Security Treaty, and that the United States opposes any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan's administration of the Senkaku Islands. We  also confirmed that the relocation to Henoko is the only solution for the return of the Futenma Air Station.

This week, I will visit Washington D.C. and hold my first Japan-US summit meeting with President Trump. The Japan-US Alliance is unwavering. I want to clearly communicate that message to the world. Communicating that message will ensure stability and peace for Japan and the region as a whole. I am sure of this. I hope to make contributions together with President Trump for the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific Region and the world.

According to the results of a labor force survey issued at the end of last month, the number of people employed in Japan has increased by 1.7 million over the past four years. The number of regular workers has increased over each of the past two years as well, by 770,000 people. These are excellent results for employment, a matter of the utmost importance for the lives of the public. The Government and ruling parties will continue to work as one to advance policies while carefully listening to the opinions of the members of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.”

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