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The Prime Minister in Action

Liaison Meeting of the Government and Ruling Parties

April 2, 2018

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]
On April 2, 2018, 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,
“In the Diet, the budget for the new fiscal year and the bills related to the budget, including a tax bill, were successfully passed last week.
I have advocated that the early passage of the budget is itself the most important stimulus to the economy. We will swiftly execute this budget so that the warm winds of economic recovery can reach small businesses, small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and each region. I would like to thank you all for your efforts.
Meanwhile, the issue concerning the alteration of the documents by the Ministry of Finance has shaken the confidence of the public in the government. It has also caused great concern among the members of the ruling parties. I feel deeply responsible as the head of the government. Once again, I would like to express my apology to the people. We will conduct an investigation thoroughly, uncover the whole truth, and make utmost efforts to prevent this from happening again.
We will ensure implementation of the rigorous rules contained in the new guidelines on public documents that are applicable from this fiscal year, and accelerate the transition to an electronic document approval system.
Beyond that, based on the ongoing investigation and revelations of the facts of this matter, we will work to further identify the problem points and the Government as a whole will review the way that public documents are managed.
The work style reform bills are now being discussed by the ruling parties. We aim to pass these bills during the current session of the Diet and intend to submit them to the Diet within this week.
Work style reforms must be urgently addressed in order to allow people faced with various circumstances, such as those engaged in nursing care or child rearing, to work flexibly while leading fulfilling lives and with a sense of purpose, by correcting the practice of working long hours and by improving the conditions of non-regular workers.
I ask for the continued cooperation of every member in the ruling parties during the second half of the Diet session as well.
Circumstances permitting, from April 17 to 20, I will visit Mar-a-Lago in Florida in the United States. I hope to hold a Japan-U.S. summit meeting with President Trump over the course of two days to extensively discuss matters of interest to Japan and the United States, including North Korea issues.
With regard to North Korea issues, the fact that North Korea has begun to seek dialogue, including the recent visit to China by Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong-un, is the outcome of applying maximum pressure on North Korea through close cooperation among Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea (ROK), in collaboration with China, Russia, and the international community.
That said, considering the lessons of the past, dialogue for the sake of dialogue is meaningless. We must continue to apply maximum pressure on North Korea in order to compel North Korea to commit to the abandonment of nuclear weapons and missiles in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner and to take specific actions to this end.
Regarding the abduction issue, which is a top priority, I will directly ask President Trump to take up this matter at the upcoming summit meeting between the U.S. and North Korea. I intend to exert every effort toward the resolution of this issue through Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK collaboration.
During this year’s ‘spring offensive (spring wage negotiations),’ many companies raised their pay scales and many of them increased their wages more significantly compared with last year.
The Government and ruling parties will continue to steadily advance policies so that all people can feel the economic recovery for themselves, and I ask for your cooperation in this regard.”

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