Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet  
Speeches and Statements by Prime Minister TOP
(Provisional translation)

Statement by the Prime Minister

August 2, 2008

I reshuffled the Cabinet today.

As a result of the Cabinet's all-out efforts to realize trustworthy politics and the administration that put the people first, over a little less than a year since I assumed the post of Prime Minister, I have been able to hammer out major reform policies. Now, it is time to take steady actions in line with these reform policies. I will do my best to ensure that the Government takes the standpoint of the people, to build a foundation for the people to live with a sense of reassurance, and to forge an economic society in which the people can truly feel affluent. At the same time, I will spare no efforts in contributing to the peace and stability of the world and to resolving global environmental issues, upon which the above domestic goals are based.

My idea of administrative and financial reforms that put the people first has started moving forward, including the implementation of consumer policy in an integrated manner, the elimination of waste in administrative expenditures, the reallocation of revenue sources earmarked for roads to "revenue sources for the people," civil service reform, and decentralization reform. I will continue to steadfastly carry out these reforms while upholding the principle of integral reforms of government revenue and expenditure.

As for the social security system directly linked with the people's everyday lives, I have formulated the Five-Point Reassurance Plan to deal with key issues such as emergency medical care and the shortage of doctors in obstetrics and pediatrics, responding sincerely to anxieties and dissatisfaction voiced by the people. I will put the plan into action immediately and seek to realize it within a year or two. Further, I will take measures without fail to restore the people's trust regarding the pension record problem.

The Government will steadily implement emergency measures to help people being seriously affected by the extraordinary rise in the crude oil price, and will pursue flexible economic management while keeping a close watch on various factors including price trends. The Government will also seek to realize economic growth shared by everyone, including people working at small and medium businesses and those engaged in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, in order to strengthen the growth potential of the Japanese economy, while promoting the development of world-leading innovative technologies and the building of an open country that thrives on the vigor of the entire world.

We will also work for the promotion of education by society as a whole to foster human resources that drive the nation's future development.

In the area of foreign policy, we will seek to forge an open relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region to "advance together" on the foundation of the strong Japan-US alliance. As a nation that proactively cooperates in the building of peace, Japan will fight against terrorism in close coordination with the international community. We will also do our utmost to resolve the North Korean nuclear, missile, and abduction issues.

Regarding global environmental issues, we will lead international discussion on the building of an effective new framework in which all major emitters participate, on the basis of the results of the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, and will also accelerate concrete actions to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in line with the Action Plan for Achieving a Low-carbon Society.

With my sights on the future of Japan and the world, I will steadily address the issues now before us, one by one, and proceed with reforms from the public's viewpoint. In this, I sincerely ask for the understanding and cooperation of the people of Japan.