Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Delivered Policy Speech to the Diet

    TOKYO, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/-- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a
 policy speech in a plenary session of the Diet on January 26, 2007.
     Prime Minister Abe stated in his speech, "Now the time has come to
 boldly review these post-war regimes all the way back to their origins, and
 set sail on a new course. In order to realize 'a beautiful country, Japan,'
 my mission is none other than to draw a new vision of a nation which can
 withstand the raging waves for the next 50 to 100 years to come."
     Prime Minister Abe concluded his speech to say, "In order to create 'a
 beautiful country, Japan,' we must recognize anew what is good and
 wonderful about our country. We will launch a new project which brings
 together our collective wisdoms to transmit strategically Japan's new
 'country identity' for the future: Japan's ideals, visions and uniqueness,
 so that they are well understood by people not only in Japan, but all over
 the world. With my firm belief that our future is bright, I declare 2007 as
 'The First Year for Creating a Beautiful Country.' With all my heart and
 soul, I will stand at the fore and lead the way, with unwavering
 determination, to realizing various reforms together with all the people
 who have the courage to take up the challenges of the future."
     The outline of the speech is as follows:
     (Strengthening Growth Potential)
     -- Innovation which brings about cutting-edge technologies, products and
     -- An open approach which brings the vitality of Asia and the world into
        our country
     -- The "Asia Gateway Initiative," which envisions Japan acting as a bridge
        between Asia and the world
     -- Strengthening economic partnership
     (Creating a Society Full of Opportunities That Guarantees a Chance to
 Challenge Again and Again)
     -- "The Comprehensive Plan for Challenge Again Assistance Measures"
     (Creating Attractive Regions)
     -- The decentralization of power from central government to local
     -- Raising the scale of exports of "delicious and safe Japanese food
     (Advancing Administrative and Financial Reform of Central and Local
     -- An integral reform of expenditure and revenue
     -- Realizing a "lean government"
     -- Fundamental reform of the taxation system, including the consumption
     (Rebuilding Education)
     -- Ushering in "a new era in education"
     -- Rebuilding our public education system by reviewing the education with
        room for growth
     -- The issue of bullying
     -- Developing a system of education administration that will be trusted by
        the people
     (Realizing a Healthy and Safe Society)
     -- Constructing a social security system suitable for Japan
     -- Formulating a "New Health Frontier Strategy"
     -- Formulating an even more comprehensive strategy to address the falling
     -- Restoring Japan as the safest country in the world
     -- The implementation of global warming countermeasures
     (Proactive Diplomacy)
     -- Carrying forward "Proactive Diplomacy" that truly contributes to peace
        in Asia and the world, diplomacy founded on three pillars: (a)
        strengthening partnerships with countries that share the fundamental
        values of freedom, democracy, basic human rights and rule of law, (b)
        creating an Asia that is open and rich in innovation, and (c)
        contributing to global peace and stability
     -- The "Japan-U.S. Alliance for the World and Asia"
     -- Resolving the issue of North Korea's nuclear development and the
        abduction, under the solid principle of "Dialogue and Pressure"
     -- Building a mutually beneficial relationship with China
     -- Building a future-oriented close relationship with South Korea
     -- Strengthening economic partnerships with the ASEAN countries, and also
        with countries with which we share fundamental values, such as India
        and Australia
     -- Implementing an exchange program to invite 6,000 youths to Japan every
        year over the next five years, mainly from the countries participating
        in the East Asia Summit
     -- Deepening partnerships with European countries
     -- Peace and stability in the Middle East
     -- Striving for comprehensive reform of the United Nations and pursuing
        permanent membership on the Security Council
     For further information:

SOURCE Cabinet Secretariat, Government of Japan

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