Policy Speech by Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
to the 168th Session of the Diet
Embassy of Japan
October 2, 2007
On October 1, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda delivered a policy speech to a plenary session of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors at the 168th session of the Diet. At the beginning of his speech, Prime Minister Fukuda referred to the result of the elections for the House of Councillors in July, which gave the majority to the opposition, and expressed his intention to engage in sincere consultations with opposition parties on important policy issues. He also emphasized the importance of recovering the trust in politics and in the administration.
On the issue of the structural reforms in the area of Japan’s economy and society, Prime Minister Fukuda expressed his strong resolve to advance the reforms in order to achieve stable growth. At the same time, Prime Minister Fukuda highlighted the “disparities” arising from the structural reforms and stressed that he would listen to the voices of people in local regions through regular exchange of views between the national and local governments.
Prime Minister Fukuda addressed that maintaining the solid Japan-U.S. alliance and promoting international cooperation are the foundation of Japan’s diplomacy and that Japan would realize its responsibilities commensurate with its national strength in the international community and become a country relied upon internationally. Prime Minister Fukuda would continue to make his utmost efforts to explain in detail the necessity of continuing the support activities based on the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law to the people and the Diet, which are part of the international community’s joint efforts to prevent the proliferation of terrorists.
The transcript of the entire speech is available at:
The following are the excerpts from Prime Minister Fukuda’s Policy Speech.
Japan has been making efforts at structural reform in all areas of its economy and society. A certain degree of success has been achieved, and we have seen a recovery in our economy and an expansion in employment. Still, Japan is facing difficult issues such as the arrival of a society with full-fledged population decline; increasing expenses for social security services caused by falling birth rates and aging society; structural changes in domestic and overseas economy; and global environmental issues. In order to overcome these challenges and create a more mature society, we must advance reforms with our eyes fixed on the future of Japan and revise systems and organizations that are no longer befitting the present times.
In the process of forging ahead with the structural reforms, various problems have arisen that are broadly called the issues of “disparities.” Without changing the direction of the reforms, I will never close my eyes to the reality of the situation, and do my utmost to provide solutions to each and every problem in a proper way.
As we strive to realize a sustainable society, we must not only do our best to achieve for certain the target laid out in the Kyoto Protocol, but we must also lead the way in urging other nations to make efforts to prevent global warming. Japan has cutting-edge technologies in the environment and energy sectors, which enable us to take the lead in the world for solving environmental issues. With a view to presenting to the world a new model of economic society encapsulated in the concept of a sustainable society, we will take concrete steps, through the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit to be held next year and other fora, toward creating a framework in which all major greenhouse gas emitters can participate, in order to achieve the goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as envisioned in the initiative “Cool Earth 50.”
Maintaining the solid Japan-U.S. alliance and promoting international cooperation are the foundation of Japan ’s diplomacy. World peace cannot be realized unless the international community works together in solidarity. Fixing my eyes on the future of the world in a drastically changing international environment, I will carry forward a diplomacy which contributes to world peace, so that Japan will realize its responsibilities commensurate with its national strength in the international community, and become a country which is relied upon internationally . The most pressing issues we are facing are the continuation of the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s support activities in the Indian Ocean and the early resolution of issues related to North Korea .
The support activities based on the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law are part of the international community’s joint efforts to prevent the proliferation of terrorists. They serve the national interests of Japan which depends on maritime transportation for much of its natural resources, and also constitute the responsibilities that Japan should fulfill in the international community. They are highly appreciated by the international community including the U.N., and we have received specific requests to continue these activities from various countries. We will continue to make our utmost efforts to explain in detail the necessity of continuing these activities to the people and the Diet, so as to gain their kind understanding.
The Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy, and we will work to further consolidate our relationship of trust. We will steadily implement the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan , based on the idea of maintaining deterrence and reducing burdens, while listening closely to the earnest voices of local communities including Okinawa , and exerting our best efforts to promote the development of these communities.
*Japanese Prime Minister’s Official Residence website
*Activities in Response to International Terrorism (Ministry of Defense website)
* G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit Website
* Prime Minister Abe’s Speech “Invitation to ‘Cool Earth 50’” ( May 24, 2007 )