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JapanGov Weekly

Last Update : Friday, Dec 26, 2014

[Cabinet Secretariat] [Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014]

Inauguration of the Third Abe Cabinet

The Third Abe Cabinet was inaugurated.

In the evening, Yoshihide Suga, who was reappointed as Chief Cabinet Secretary, announced the list of Cabinet members at the Prime Minister’s Office. Following this, the investiture ceremony of the Prime Minister, and the attestation ceremonies for Ministers of State and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretaries were held at the Imperial Palace, marking the official inauguration of the Third Abe Cabinet.

At night, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a press conference. Afterwards, the Prime Minister convened the first Cabinet meeting, and then held a commemorative photograph session.

Photograph of the commemorative photograph session Photograph of the first Cabinet meeting

[Cabinet Secretariat] [Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014]

Press Conference by Prime Minister Abe

[Provisional Translation]

CABINET PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECRETARY: We will now begin the press conference by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Prime Minister Abe will deliver an opening statement.

Mr. Prime Minister, your opening statement, please.

<Opening statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe>

PRIME MINISTER ABE: Today, having been designated Prime Minister at the Diet, I have come to continue to shoulder the weighty responsibility of being Prime Minister.

I would like to express my deep appreciation once more to the public for having supported us in the ruling coalition during the recent general election. The Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito will continue to advance policies on a strong and stable foundation.

What needs to be done is very clear. I intend for the Abe Cabinet to act in unity as we work to bring about with absolute certainty the policies that we pledged to the public during this general election, one by one.

In order to be certain that we get rid of deflation, we will postpone by 18 months the raising of the consumption tax rate that had been scheduled for October 2015. Even against that backdrop, we will eliminate childcare waiting lists and launch in April 2015 a new system that supports households raising children. We will also carry out the reinforcement of medical systems, nursing care, and other aspects of social security as scheduled, to the greatest extent possible. We will prepare the related bills and the draft budget for fiscal 2015 expeditiously and aim to have them passed swiftly during the next ordinary Diet session by also gaining the cooperation of the opposition parties. The foremost issue is making the success of Abenomics a certainty.

During the election campaign I traveled some 14,000 km all throughout the country and I was able to listen directly to a wide variety of voices, including the voices of people working at small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro enterprises and people living in Japan’s local regions. I intend to develop Abenomics still further by responding assiduously to this variety of sentiments as well.

This week we will compile our economic countermeasures. We will rigorously undertake assistance measures tailored to the circumstances of each local area, including assistance with kerosene in cold regions, assistance for SMEs and micro-enterprises struggling with the sharp rise in the prices of fuel and materials, and assistance for child-rearing. At the same time, I intend for us also to make proper investments towards future generations by preparing the infrastructure needed for energy conservation and for a hydrogen-based society, by creating a nation that is resilient against natural disasters, and so on.

At last week’s Government-Labor-Management Meeting, the business community agreed to make its utmost efforts to raise wages next year, continuing on from this year’s wage increases. In order to have this pattern of wage increases continue into the following spring and then the spring after that, and to carry out further improvements in the area of employment, we will implement the economic policies within my “three arrows” even more boldly and with an even greater sense of speed. We will undertake sweeping reforms of regulations that hold back the vitality of the private sector. And, we will unfailingly make the turnaround of the economy come to be felt tangibly throughout the whole of the country.

This week, we will take a Cabinet Decision on a comprehensive strategy under which the local regions each put to best use their own distinct characteristics and open up new horizons through their own keen enthusiasm and which supports people in the local regions brimming with motivation. Under this new strategy, we will create an environment in which people can grow up, study, and be employed in the local regions, and we will push forward in creating local communities that are convenient even if they are small in size. We will also take steps forward towards building a society in which the hopes of the young generation become reality in terms of marriage and having and raising children. In next year’s ordinary Diet session, we will bring to fruition the necessary budget and legislative bills and then embark on full-scale efforts to vitalize local economies.

Realizing a society in which women shine continues to be the foremost challenge for the Abe Cabinet. During the upcoming ordinary Diet session, we will aim for passage at an early date of the bill to promote women’s empowerment, which unfortunately failed to be passed during the recent extraordinary session of the Diet.

Diplomatic and security policies were also major points at issue in the recent general election.  I will secure Japan’s national interests by advancing diplomacy that takes a panoramic perspective of the globe. I am also unwavering in my determination to defend fully and resolutely the lives and happy daily lives of the Japanese people.

We are currently working to prepare seamless security legislation for submission to the ordinary Diet session next year, grounded in the basic policies decided upon by the Cabinet in July. I have thus far asked Mr. [Akinori] Eto, who has a wealth of experience in this area, to serve as the minister responsible for this. However, before I formed the new government today, Mr. Eto expressed his firm intention to resign in order not to bring about any delays in the Diet deliberations of these bills. While this situation is unfortunate, I deferred to his wishes.

Newly-appointed Minister [Gen] Nakatani brings with him not only a great many years of knowledge and experience regarding security policy but also expertise in the actual circumstances the Self-Defense Forces face in the field. Minister Nakatani also played an important role when we held consultations between the ruling parties leading up to the Cabinet Decision taken in July. In the future, under Minister Nakatani we will work to pass this legislation during next year’s ordinary Diet session, moving forward to prepare the bill in all aspects while continuing our efforts to obtain the further understanding of the public.

Since this government was inaugurated, we have been devoting our utmost energies to such critical issues as reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and the revival of education. We will accelerate these efforts still further.

Whether it be getting rid of deflation, reforming social security, or rebuilding our diplomacy and security, the road ahead of us will be very challenging. I have been dedicating myself wholly to advancing the most drastic reforms since the end of World War II. These are, in every case, entirely new attempts at reform. Naturally, there are major divisions between those in favor and those opposed, and there is also intense resistance.

However, through the recent general election, the Japanese public has given us a firm pat on the back pushing us forward, telling us to stay the course. Having garnered the great power of the confidence of the people, I am determined for the Cabinet to act in unity as we make good on our word and push forward in bringing our policies to fruition.

We will run the administration with an even greater sense of vigilance and with humility.
Now only one week remains in 2014. Allow me to express to you once more my appreciation for the heartwarming understanding and support that you have shown to the Abe Cabinet over the past year. And, although it is a bit early, I would like to extend to you my best wishes for a wonderful year in the year to come.

I will end my opening statement here.

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a press conference

[Japan National Tourism Organization] [Thursday, Dec 25, 2014]

JAPAN Monthly Web Magazine January issue has been released

The Japan Monthly Web Magazine, published by Japan National Tourism Organization, is easy to read on your smartphone or tablet. It brings you the hottest news every month.