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Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

Policy Speech by the Prime Minister to the 201st Session of the Diet

January 20, 2020

[Provisional translation]
1.    Introduction
(The Japan Olympics)

It was the first time in Olympic history for the Games to be broadcast live by satellite. As the world watched, the final runner, Mr. SAKAI Yoshinori, entered National Stadium, carrying the Olympic flame.

He was born August 6 in Hiroshima. The dignified run of this young man of 19 sent out a powerful message to the world that Japan had achieved reconstruction from its devastation after the war and was stepping out, full of confidence and pride, into a new era of rapid growth.

“The Japan Olympics.” The 1964 Games that Mr. Sakai described in this way were truly achieved by all the Japanese people coming together as one. The eyes of the world came to be riveted on Japan, which was filled with positive dynamism towards the future.

After half a century, that excitement will again find their way to Japan.

With this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games too, all of Japan will again work together to make them the greatest possible Games, the one that will move people all around the world. And from there, with the public being united, let us all step forward together towards a new era.

(Stepping forward towards a new era)

“Japan is no longer able to grow.”

Seven years ago, we started vigorously firing three arrows at this “wall of resignation.” We have made use of the fruits of those efforts and, from supporting child rearing to making education free and even the work style reform, advance straightforwardly with the aim of creating a society in which all citizens are engaged dynamically.

Looking squarely at the increasingly severe security environment, we established the Legislation for Peace and Security, fundamentally reinforcing our defense capabilities. Taking a panoramic perspective of the world map, I have traveled the world over to engage in dynamic Japanese diplomacy.

Japan is no longer the Japan of the past. We have succeeded in completely breaking through the “wall of resignation.” Armed with that confidence and pride, beginning here and now, let us all together carve out Japan’s new era of Reiwa.

2.    The Reconstruction Olympic and Paralympic Games

When the 2020 Olympic flame sets out on its run, its starting point is J-Village in Fukushima. That place, the base of operations dealing with the nuclear accident, has now been reborn into a Japan’s largest holy site of soccer, filled with children’s smiling faces.

Following the reopening of the Joban Expressway, services will be restored along the entire length of the Japan Railways (JR) Joban Line this March. In Coordination with this, we are advancing preparations for the partial lifting of the evacuation orders in place in the difficult-to-return areas of the towns of Futaba, Okuma, and Tomioka.

In the town of Namie, one of the world’s largest hydrogen plants powered by renewable energy will begin full operation. During the Games, those who are involved with the Games will use automobiles using this clean hydrogen as fuel. While the Games are underway, this hydrogen will also keep the Olympic flame alight. Lithium-ion batteries, robots using AI ⁠— industries that will open up the future⁠—are now poised to emerge from Fukushima one after the other.

The number of overseas tourists visiting Miyagi Prefecture, which suffered enormous damage from the tsunami, is now more than twice the number before the disaster struck. Iwate Prefecture now welcomes three times its pre-disaster figure. The Michi-no-Eki roadside rest area that just opened for business this past September in the city of Rikuzentakata has enjoyed a bustling turnout, with 100,000 tourists visiting there in only a month.

While the period for reconstruction and revitalization will end in the next fiscal year, we will make all-out efforts to wrap up the full reconstruction and revitalization of Fukushima as well as the reconstruction of Tohoku We will head towards the next stage under the responsibility and the leadership of politicians, with the Reconstruction Agency serving as the control tower.

Nine years ago, Mr. Scott Fardy experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake in Kamaishi as a member of a rugby team there.

“If I were to head back to my home country now, I’d regret it.”

Even though he had been recommended by his family to return to Australia, following the evacuation advisory from the Australian Embassy, Mr. Fardy stayed in Kamaishi and continued to assist disaster victims facing hardship, such as delivery of relief supplies and transporting the elderly and sick persons.

With the feelings of appreciation to his actions in mind, Kamaishi will serve as the host town of Australia for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this year. The 29 municipalities struck by the disaster will deepen their exchanges with those who provided them support, including the village of Noda, Iwate Prefecture, which is partnered with Taiwan, and the city of Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, matched with Kuwait.

I want people to see with their own eyes and experience for themselves the state of the disaster-affected areas, which are poised to be vigorously reconstructed thanks to their heartwarming support. This is what the “Reconstruction Olympic and Paralympic Games” mean to be.

In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, assistance was sent from 163 countries and regions. Now, from here, I wish to once again express my appreciation together with you all to the people of the world who extended a hand of warm assistance to Japan in our time of trouble.

3.    Regional revitalization
(A tourism-oriented country)

Close to 500 cities, towns, and villages in total will serve as host towns for the Games. This is an ideal opportunity for communities all around the nation to send out a message to the world about the charms of our local areas.

From Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south, this year, we will hold the Japan Cultural Expo where people can come into contact with local cultures from all around Japan of which we are proud, including the traditional music and culinary culture that the Ainu have passed down to the present day as well as Ryukyuan dance.

We will establish a system in which we can make proactive use of national cultural properties and support the creation of tourism spots through the ideas of local communities. We will deregulate the current arrangement regarding passenger transportation services with private cars that charge fees and sufficient means of transportation for tourists from overseas in areas outside the major cities.

We will exert every effort to restore Shuri Castle at the earliest possible time. In March, we will open a second runway at Naha Airport. By expanding the number of takeoff and landing slots by over 100,000, we will work to promote the development of Okinawa as a gateway to Asia.

In the run-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we will fully prepare cybersecurity measures and countermeasures against organized crime, including terrorism, thereby thoroughly ensuring safety and peace of mind. We will create the foundation of a tourism-oriented country, including by making information accessible in multiple languages and developing our Wi-Fi environment, all at once, with the Osaka Kansai Expo to be held five years from now also in our sights. Under a highly independent management board, we will conduct strict and fair and impartial screening and work to develop integrated resorts for tourists.

In addition, we will develop tourism infrastructure that is among the very best in the world, including accommodations that meet diverse needs of tourists from overseas, aiming at achieving our target of welcoming 60 million overseas tourists annually by 2030.

(Agricultural exports)

Turning our eyes to the world will create new and broader opportunities for areas outside major cities.

Last year, our exports of beef and rice to the EU increased by about 30 percent. Our exports of dairy products to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member countries also expanded by well over 20 percent. Our sweet-tasting Beniharuka variety of sweet potatoes is selling extremely well in Singapore and Thailand. Last year, sweet potato exports expanded by more than 40 percent.

Last month, the ban over our beef export to China has been lifted. Making use of the Japan-U.S. trade agreement that entered into force this month, we will also support vigorously efforts to export Japan’s delicious and safe agricultural, forestry, and fisheries products to the world.

We will strengthen our production base with budget measures of more than 300 billion yen, including shifting to larger-scale farming, increasing the number of cows being raised, and improving productivity in the fisheries industry. We will assist with efforts to cultivate overseas markets, including developing sales channels.

Kobe beef, Ruby Roman grapes, Yumepirika rice—we will thoroughly protect such Japan brand, which is the crystallization of efforts made by farmers over so many years, from the risks of their products being replicated in overseas markets through leakage.

We will further reinforce our countermeasures to classical swine fever (CSF). Even in cases of detecting infection in wild animals, we will make arrangements so that we are able to carry out measures to prevent infection from spreading, including the restriction of movement, in accordance with the Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control. Regarding African swine fever (ASF) as well, we will step up our quarantine of meat and meat products brought in from overseas and thoroughly implement border controls.

(Regional revitalization)

When Typhoon 19 struck last year, the Yamba Dam helped preventing damage along the Tonegawa River. With respect to other dams, which are built for hydropower or irrigation water, we will compile measures for all class A river systems to utilize these dams centrally in the event of emergencies by breaking through the sectionalism across the ministries and agencies.

Making use of the lessons learned from successive natural disasters, we will press forward with excavating riverbeds, maintaining embankments, and removing roadside utility poles all around Japan. We will also build a resilient electrical supply system through, for example, the regular upgrading of electrical transmission lines and collaboration among power companies, the Self-Defense Forces, and local authorities beforehand. We will promote our disaster prevention and mitigation as well as build national resilience, creating local communities that are resilient against disasters.

Located seven hours from Tokyo by rail, the city of Gotsu in Shimane Prefecture is sometimes called “the town farthest from Tokyo.” For more than 20 years the number of people leaving the city exceeded the number of new residents; the city had shrank in size by 2,800 people—a ten percent drop in its population.

However, as the result of vigorously encouraging young people to start business, finally two years ago the number of people flowing into the city surpassed the number departing, resulting in a social increase of population.

Mr. HARADA Masanori moved there from Tokyo to grow coriander. It was the city government that engaged in negotiations for him to rent some farmland. He received seed funding from the regional revitalization promotion grant. And I understand that he learned agriculture from local farmers and help in developing sales channels from local businesses.

“The entire community helped me.”

An environment where the community as a whole supports young people’s challenges was the deciding factor for Mr. Harada in moving there.

“Opportunities lie in local communities.” We will strongly support young people who think in that way and plunge into local communities outside the major cities. We will make it even easier for them to utilize the program that provides up to three million yen in cases when people move from Tokyo to other regions to launch a business or start a new job. We will establish migration support centers in 1,000 municipalities all around Japan and link the people’s needs to migrate into the actual people’s movement.

We will establish a new scheme that matches talent with employment opportunities and provides assistance with transportation expenses in order to promote among urban residents second jobs and dual employment in areas outside the major cities. By expanding the “population with ties,” we will aim to link it to future migration and achieve our goal of balancing the number of people relocating to and from these places.

We will further strengthen the creation of attractive jobs in areas outside major cities by expanding the tax incentive reduction scheme of corporate donations for regional revitalization.

We will introduce special applications of the antimonopoly act so as to secure and maintain thoroughly local financial service and transportation service, which are the foundation of community development. We will also continue to support creativity and ingenuity of local efforts with the regional revitalization promotion grant.
Together, let us build a new era for regional revitalization, in which young people can plunge into the future with dreams and hopes.

4.    The Growth Strategy
(Owners of small- and medium-sized enterprises and micro-enterprises)

The “Witches of the Orient” played very dynamic volleyball. The balls they used were made by a small factory in Hiroshima. Over the course of the past half century, the high degree of skill used to manufacture them has been handed down over, with their balls continuing to be chosen even now as official volleyballs of the Olympic Games.

Owners of small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as micro-enterprises of all over Japan are supporting local economies through unique technologies that have been cultivated over a great many years. However, many of them are now over 60 years old and the succession of their businesses is a matter of urgency. The largest wall blocking succession by the younger generation is the practice of personal guarantees.

From this spring, we will prohibit in principle the seeking of a double layer of guarantees, in which personal guarantees are received from both the old and new business owners. Beginning this month, Shoko Chukin Bank has started lending that in principle does not require personal guarantees, to be applied to 30,000 cases annually, amounting to two trillion yen in new loans.

The Credit Guarantee Corporations will launch a new program from April that guarantees the loans of succeeding business owners without a personal guarantee. They will also provide assistance to improve management by business successors and waive the guarantee fee for those who receive the confirmation by experts. With the strong determination to never carry down the practice of personal guarantee into the new generations, we will mobilize all possible measures.

Seven years ago, the subcontracting promotion criteria underwent major revisions for the first time in a decade. We will revise them further and expand its coverage. We will include large companies in the metals industry and chemical industry to call upon drawing up voluntary action plans. We will also assign professionals with expertise in the trade practices of respective industries as “subcontract G-men” and work to further improve subcontracting practices.

The advance of digital technology is an enormous opportunity for owners of medium, small, and micro enterprises such as the expansion of sales channels. We will enact a law to make digital transactions transparent and rectify opaque trade practices such as unilaterally raising the fees charged to have a storefront in an online mall.

(Regulatory reform)

The Internet of Things, Big Data, artificial intelligence—As the Fourth Industrial Revolution is bringing major changes, we will boldly advance regulatory reform of the digital era.

Beginning this year, we will lift the ban on unattended autonomous driving and provide safe and convenient means of transportation to people living in hilly and mountainous areas. We will create a new driving license limited to “safety support cars” equipped with automatic brakes and work to popularize it.

This is an era in which the volume of data that an AI analyzes affects competitiveness. We will lead the world of Big Data by anonymizing personal information and enabling detailed analyses of it.

Various payment services using FinTech are being introduced. In light of this, we will fundamentally review regulations sectionalized with the business acts in financial services.We will encourage people to acquire an Individual Number Card and start the use of this card as a health insurance card by the end of next fiscal year. We will push forward with the digitization of every kind of administrative procedure and complete this transition by FY2024 for all procedures other than those requiring in-person verification.

We will ensure the safety and peace of mind of consumers in response to the rapid changes due to technological progress. We will reinforce the protection of personal information, including by making it possible to suspend the usage of personal data. We will make tailgating subject to criminal penalties and thoroughly crack down on malicious drivers by setting up cameras along roadways. We will ban the flying of drones towards airport facilities and ensure the safety of flight paths.


I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Prof. YOSHINO Akira for being awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
We will make bold investments in the young researchers who will come after Prof. Yoshino to take the lead in the future. We will prioritize boldly the allocation of funds to young researchers so that they can devote themselves to challenging research with out-of-the-box thinking. By ensuring stable positions and establishing career paths that include study overseas, we will create an environment where young people can have dreams and hopes for the future as they delve deeply into the world of research.

The key to outpacing the speed of change and creating value that has never before existed is entrepreneurship. We will assist investments by large companies to startups through the tax system and make a paradigm shift from the not-invented-here thinking. We will make research outcomes and technologies that have accumulated grow into new industries by encouraging investment to startups from national research institutes.

The impact that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will go beyond just the economy and have enormous impacts over every sector of society, including security. It is critical to implement efforts based on a national strategy.

The foundational infrastructure is telecommunications. With our eyes looking ahead firmly on 5G, post-5G, and beyond, we will strongly support innovation through bold tax measures and budgets. We will strategically advance our efforts under global collaboration so as to provide safe and secure infrastructure.

As for quantum technology which serves as the foundation for next-generation encryption and more, we will move forward in developing an innovation hub that brings together leading researchers and corporations from both within Japan and overseas.

Japan will make full use of the technologies it enjoys and contribute to the new international project aimed at developing a space station orbiting the moon, manned exploration of the lunar surface, and other undertakings. With the future exploration of Mars and other endeavors also in our sight, we will work to expand humankind’s new frontiers.

We must also change the state of education in the era of Society 5.0. From this year we will launch coding education in elementary schools. Within four years, we will prepare one IT terminal for each and every elementary and junior high school student. We will also advance education reforms of the new era by employing a variety of outside talent, including corporate engineers.


The new economic measures we recently compiled aims at creating a future with security and growt. By implementing those measures with a total scale of 26 trillion yen, we will take every possible precaution against downside risk originating overseas, including trade friction between the U.S. and China and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, along with the restoration and reconstruction from natural disasters.

The Japanese economy has grown by 13 percent over the last past years, and the tax revenue in the FY2020 budget is the highest in history. The amount of government bonds issued has been decreasing for eight consecutive years. Without economic revitalization, there can be no fiscal consolidation. . Maintaining this basic principle, we will continue to aim at realizing a surplus in the primary balance by FY 2025.

Over the past six years, while the working-age population has decreased by 5.0 million people, employment has risen by 3.8 million people. In the midst of a labor shortage, the increase in the minimum wage was the highest ever under the current calculation method, with the national average surpassing 900 yen per hour for the first time in history. Currently, close to 90 percent of small- and medium-sized enterprises have increased wages.

Now, with the employment environment changing for the better, we will expand at a stroke, intensively over three years, the employment of those of the employment ice age generation. We will implement all kinds of measures, including lifting the ban on job offers specifically targeting this generation, and expand opportunities to make use of their willingness, experience, and capabilities.

In order to make it easier to take on second jobs and dual employment, we will clarify rules regarding working hours. We will revise the Act concerning Comprehensive Promotion of Labor Policies and press forward with reforms, calling on large corporations to disclose their ratio of mid-career and experienced worker hires and making it possible to have various flexible working styles.

As our economy and society undergo significant changes, it is a necessity of the times that there be diversity in our lifestyles. Let us now make substantial improvements to Japan’s employment practices and, together, advance the work style reform.

5.    A society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged
(A social security system oriented to all generations)

From this spring, equal pay for equal work will begin at major corporations. As the wall separating permanent and non-permanent employment crumbles, we will further expand the enrollment of part-time works to employees’ pensions. We will gradually expanding this to small- and medium-sized enterprises with more than 50 employees, while assisting their efforts to improve productivity with making use of the monodzukuri grant, subsidies for introducing IT, and the micro business sustainability subsidies amounting to more than 300 billion yen and reducing the burden of social insurance paperwork.

Eighty percent of the elderly wish to continue working even after age 65. The arrival of a 100-year life society is a major opportunity. We will ensure employment options up until the age of 70 for anyone with the desire to work.
Placing such changes to our working style at the core, we will push forward with reforms, covering the entire spectrum of pensions, medical care, and nursing care.

We will expand to age 75 the choice for when to begin receiving a pension. We will also conduct a review of pensions paid to older workers who are still employed so that incentives to work are not hindered.

In 2022, the so-called first baby boomer generation will be at the advanced age of 75 or older. Putting a halt to the increase in the social security burden borne by the working generation is a matter of urgency.

We will undertake a review in order to shift from contributions based on age to those based on ability. We will examine asking those aged 75 or older with more than a certain amount of income to newly pay 20 percent of their costs when receiving medical attention. Alongside this, we will limit the burden borne by the working generation by charging a fixed sum to consult a doctor at a large-scale hospital for the sake of strengthening the role of primary care doctors.

Regarding medical and nursing care, we will strengthen preventive care in order to build a society where everyone can stay healthy and active.

This year we will implement reforms, aiming at a social security system oriented to all generations, where everyone, from children to families with small children, the working generation, and then the elderly, can enjoy peace of mind.

(Assistance for child rearing)

We will continue to invest boldly in the future of children.

Following upon making early childhood education and childcare free of charge since last year, from this April, higher education will become free for children for whom such assistance is truly needed. We have also achieved making private high school effectively free. We will create a society where all children can work hard towards their dreams, regardless of their families’ economic situations.

We will push forward with preparing childcare arrangements and eliminate childcare waiting lists. Through our efforts thus far, last year the number of children waiting for childcare reached its lowest point ever since the surveys began. We will strengthen our efforts, calling on municipalities that still have not eliminated waiting lists to formulate an improvement plan corresponding to local childcare needs.

We will provide seamless support for pregnancy, childbirth, and child rearing. By spring of 2021, we will establish in every municipality a comprehensive support center for families with small children. We will expand support for low-income single-parent families and further reinforce our efforts to build a society in which it is easy to raise children. Aiming to raise the birthrate to 1.8 children per woman, the level the public has indicated as desirable, we will confront the issue of the decrease in the birthrate, an issue increasing in severity, head on.

(A society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged)

In Japan, there are many women highly motivated and capable. If we are able to make opportunities for all women to be dynamically engaged and for the potential they hold to fully blossom, Japan’s economy and society will change completely.

Over the past six years, the number of women in the Japanese workforce has increased by 2.9 million. The percentage of women in the workforce in Japan surpasses that of the U.S. for all age groups over age 25. The M-shaped curve is without question moving towards disappearing altogether. We will continue to raise high the flag of women’s dynamic engagement, and press further forward our efforts to create an environment in which women find it easy to work and expand the number of women leaders. In addition, we will undertake measures to tackle domestic violence and other efforts by providing assistance for privately-run shelters.

We will create a society in which all people, whether women or men, young or old, people with disabilities or intractable illnesses, or, moreover, people who have failed before, can mutually accept their diversity and utilize their originality. That is also a society where everyone can demonstrate their abilities as much as they want. The realization of a society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged will truly be the key to overcoming our declining birthrate and aging society.

We will strengthen our efforts in the area of public transportation towards a barrier-free society. We will develop a telephone relay service that those who cannot hear can communicate with sign language free of charge. We will strengthen the mechanisms in place to support the desire to work held by those with severe disabilities.
“That ability will be limitless when honed.”

Dr. NAKAMURA Yutaka was ardently involved for many years in employment for the disabled.

“We must promote sports for the sake of the engagement in society of people with disabilities.”

Thanks to Dr. Nakamura’s passion, in 1964, the Tokyo Paralympic Games became a reality. Since then, the Paralympic Games have come to be held every four years regularly. With Dr. Nakamura’s thinking handed down over time, these Games will return to Japan once more, after more than half a century.

We will make this year’s Paralympic Games into magnificent Games that give people all around the world dreams and move their spirits. Let us together create a Japan that is the country where people with disabilities can live more vibrantly than anywhere else in the world.

6.    Diplomacy and security
(Proactive Contribution to Peace)

The first time Japan encountered the Olympic spirit was in the Meiji era. KANO Jigoro wrote about his excitement at that time as follows.

“[The Olympics Games] bring harmony among the thoughts and feelings of the peoples all around the world, supporting world civilization and peace.”

This year, the year in which the Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place, Japan will, under the banner of “Proactive Contribution to Peace,” sum up its postwar diplomacy and build Japan’s diplomacy for the new era. It will be a year which becomes the crucial moment for that.

We will seek to settle the outstanding issues of concern with North Korea, settle the unfortunate past and normalize relations, in accordance with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. In working towards the resolution of the abductions issue, the most important issue, I am determined to meet Chairman Kim Jong-un myself, without attaching any conditions.

Needless to say, we will thoroughly adhere our principle to act resolutely in order to safeguard the lives and assets of the Japanese nationals. We will cooperate closely with the international community, in particular the United States and the Republic of Korea.

As the security environment in Northeast Asia becomes increasingly severe, our diplomacy with neighboring countries becomes of extreme importance. The Republic of Korea is naturally our most important neighbor, which shares fundamental values and strategic interests with Japan. It is for exactly that reason that we sincerely expect the ROK to uphold promises made between our countries and build future-oriented Japan-ROK relations.

Visits to graves by former island residents by airplane and joint economic activities on the Four Islands, which President Putin and I agreed upon at Nagato, are both moving forward steadily. We will accelerate negotiations taking the 1956 Declaration as a base to resolve the territorial issue and conclude a peace treaty. This policy itself is unwavering. I am determined to achieve this with President Putin.

Japan and China together share a major responsibility for the peace and prosperity of this region and the world. In the current situation in Asia, the international community strongly call upon us to demonstrate their commitment to fulfill such a responsibility. We will build a mature Japan-China relation in the new era, by expanding and deepening exchanges at every field in addition to mutual visits by the leaders.

(Security policy)

We will protect Japan’s territory, territorial waters and airspace, under any circumstances. Japan’s security policy solely rests on our own efforts.

This spring, we will establish the Space Domain Mission Unit within the Air Self-Defense Force. Furthermore, in order to ensure our superiority in the new realms of cyberspace and electromagnetic waves, we will fundamentally strengthen our capabilities and our systems in these areas.

Yesterday, we commemorated the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States. The Japan-U.S. Alliance is now stronger than ever before. Under this deep relationship of trust, we will advance our work to develop facilities and other efforts, with a view to relocating U.S. Marine Corps force to Guam in the first half of the 2020s. While maintaining deterrence, we will deliver results one after another to alleviate the impact of military bases in Okinawa.

On the robust foundation of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, we will aim to bring about a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” working together with countries with which we share fundamental values, such as European countries, India, Australia, and ASEAN member nations.

(Addressing issues facing the international community)

Over the past seven years I have visited 80 countries and regions and had a total of more than 800 summit meetings. I am determined that Japan will play a leading role in the world towards addressing common issues faced by the international community, grounded in my relationships with leaders of relevant countries.

I am deeply concerned about the heightening in tensions in the Middle East. Japan calls on all parties concerned to resolve issues through dialogue and self-restraint responses. In light of the friendly relations Japan has cultivated until now with the countries of the Middle East, we will continue to engage tenaciously in diplomacy promoting peace that only Japan can do in order to ease tensions and bring stability to the situation in this region. As Japan relies on this region for a great deal of our energy resources, it will strengthen arrangements for information gathering by the Self-Defense Forces and ensure the safety of vessels related to Japan.

As a standard bearer for free trade, we will spread the economic order of the 21st century to the world. We will swiftly launch trade negotiations with the UK, which will withdraw from the EU. We will lead the further expansion of the TPP Agreement as well as negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that include India. We will lead the creation of new international rules on data flow through the Osaka Track.

The Osaka Blue Ocean Vision agreed at the G20 has already received the approval of 59 countries. We will aim to bring about the reduction of additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050 by expanding this trend further to the world.

Japan has achieved reductions in its greenhouse gas emissions for five consecutive years. Our reduction of 11.8 percent compared to fiscal 2013 is second only to the UK within the G7. In order to achieve at an early time a carbon-free society as set out in our long-term strategy, Japan will inaugurate the International Joint Research Center for Zero Emission Technologies. We will aggregate knowledge from G20 research institutes in the U.S., the EU, and elsewhere, driving revolutionary innovation, such as artificial photosynthesis, aiming at “Beyond Zero,” whereby we transition to reducing the carbon dioxide that has continuously increased since the Industrial Revolution.

The peace and stability of the world, developing free, fair, and open international rules, and taking on the challenges of climate change and other global environmental issues—let us together carve out the horizon for Japan’s diplomacy in the new era as we work to realize a better world.

7.    Conclusion
“For humans dream thus only once in four years.”A movie recording the 1964 Games ends with these words. What kind of new era will we make? Realizing that dream depends on the actions of those of us alive today.

We will advance major reforms associated with this nation’s vision, including social security. Now is the time for make actions, with the new era of Reiwa having just begun, the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming up, and prospects for the future being filled with positive dynamism. It is impossible to fulfill our responsibilities to the next generation by postponing things.

It is the Constitution that tells us the nation’s vision. What kind of country should we aim to be as we head towards the future? It is the responsibility of us Diet members to put forth that proposal, is it not? Now that we have entered a new era, let us fulfill our responsibilities together in the Commissions on the Constitution, in order to look intently at the future and carry out our historic mission.

We will create a Japan that shines on the world’s center stage, a Japan that we can be proud of and is brimming with hope. Over the last seven years I have given my all to moving towards that dream. We must not let dreams end as merely dreams. In order to build the Japan of the new era, let us all get started together, beginning here and now.

Thank you very much for listening.

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