April 23, 2012, on the TBS television show News 23 Cross
(In response to a question from a young person in the studio who asked, "Why don't you try to project a 'cooler' image?")
"During the election for DPJ party president, I delivered remarks in which I said that I was like a loach. A loach can't hope to emulate a goldfish. I am as I am. I like town meetings. The starting points that enabled me to become a politician were standing on the street every morning to speak to constituents along with discussing matters face to face with care and respect. Those are how it began for me and I never forget those starting points. I'm really not very good at giving performances. I think that even if you force yourself to do something you aren't good at, you won't end up with positive results in the end. I hope to engage in politics that ultimately has a noble quality, rather than pursue my own personal viewpoints or approaches."