Statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
September 26, 2006
Today, I have just been appointed to the office of Prime Minister. As the first Japanese Prime Minister born in the postwar years, under the coalition government with the New Komeito Party, I am going to shoulder the heavy responsibilities of directing the national government. I will do my best to realize the governance that is conducted on behalf of the ordinary people, that allows everyone to take part, and that opens up a new era.
In Japan, the results of the structural reforms have begun to manifest themselves and bright prospects are opening before us. On the other hand, we are facing problems such as the declining population, the imbalance between urban and rural areas, and the severe financial situation. Furthermore, new threats to international peace and security have arisen. Against this background, I am aiming for the vision of "a beautiful country, Japan" - a country filled with vitality, opportunity, and compassion, which cherishes a spirit of self-discipline, and is open to the world. In order to realize this vision, I have formed a "Cabinet for the creation of a beautiful country."
Economic growth is possible, even when faced with a declining population. I will channel in new vitality to the Japanese economy through the power of innovation and openness. I will promote comprehensive assistance measures to build a society of opportunity where everyone has a chance to challenge again - a society in which the efforts of people are rewarded, a society in which there is no stratification into winners and losers, and a society in which ways of life are diverse and multi-tracked. I will proceed with the decentralization of power from central government to local governments if highly motivated regions are to be reborn as dynamic regions. I will help striving regions help themselves to realize regions with an abundance of knowledge and ingenuity. I will implement measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises and to rebuild agriculture, forestry, and fisheries industries.
Under the principle that there can be no fiscal consolidation without growth, I will reduce expenditure thoroughly and will definitely achieve a surplus in the primary balance in FY2011. I will take the first steady step in budget formulation for the next fiscal year to reach this goal by holding down the issuance of new government bonds to below the level of the current fiscal year by achieving a well-modulated distribution of outlays. I will organize a simple yet efficient lean government by steadily promoting fundamental administrative reform. Even after thoroughly executing these reforms, for the increase in burden caused by social security services, I will advance a drastic and comprehensive reform of the taxation system to secure a stable supply of revenue.
I will do my best to realize a healthy and safe society. In this respect, I will promote a comprehensive reform of social security system, advance comprehensive measures to address the falling birthrate, and build a child-raising friendly society. And I will prevent malicious incidents in which children are victims and incidents suggestive of a laxity of regulation enforcement. I will also promote measures to address global environment problems.
I will immediately engage myself in rebuilding education, to nurture people who value their families, their communities, and their country, and who are filled with rich humanity, creativity and discipline. The first task is to ensure the early enactment of the bill concerning the Fundamental Law of Education.
I will demonstrate the "Japan-U.S. Alliance for Asia and the World" even further, and shift to proactive diplomacy that will actively contribute to stalwart solidarity in Asia. While strengthening the headquarters function and enhancing intelligence gathering functions of the Prime Minister's Office, I will put in place a framework that ensures constant communication between the Prime Minister's Office and the White House. I aim at realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan which reduces the burdens on local communities while maintaining the deterrence. I will make every effort to revitalize the local communities. I will strengthen bonds of trust with neighboring countries such as China (People's Republic of China), South Korea (Republic of Korea) and Russia so that we can have future-oriented discussions with each other. In order to advance comprehensive measures concerning the abduction issue, I have decided to establish the "Headquarters on the Abduction Issue" and to assign a secretariat solely dedicated to this Headquarters. Japan will make every effort to assist the reconstruction of Iraq and to prevent and eliminate terrorism. Japan will continue its efforts toward U.N. reform including its pursuit of permanent membership in the Security Council.
I believe we, Japanese people, have the ability to realize a 21st century Japan, which retains the Japanese virtues, and filled with charm and vitality. Together with the people of Japan, I will put all my body and soul in leading the challenge to create "a beautiful country, Japan," a country admired and respected by people in the world, a country our children's generation can have self-confidence and pride in.
I ask from my heart for the understanding and cooperation of the people of Japan.