Prime Minister NODA's BLOG

A considerable number of DPJ lawmakers submitted their resignation from the party over the vote in the House of Representatives on the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems, and recently the party indicated its orientation regarding reprimands. I extend my deep apologies for this matter having recently caused concern to many among the public. As a responsible political party, we will restore party discipline at the earliest possible time and immediately move forward with reinstituting the relevant frameworks.

One can find a large number of harsh views on this matter, of course in the newspapers and on television but also in the comments submitted through the Prime Minister's Office web page and letters submitted to newspapers. There are many voices worth listening to carefully. At the same time, this matter has multiple facets, and as the person in charge of national policy, it is also the case that I must carefully draw conclusions after weighing these various aspects. I ask for your understanding regarding that point.

Most of the major issues that Japan faces are not simple matters where we will progress in a single burst if only we raise a battle cry, resolving to take care of it. It is only by acting with tenacity and meticulous care that we will make headway. My way of doing things is to advance matters without compromising my beliefs, going through the channels that should be followed to conquer each mountain one by one and never allowing retreat.

Yesterday, I attended the World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction held in Sendai, where at the opening ceremony I delivered remarks to ministers from around the world. Japan shoulders a grave responsibility towards all humankind to convey far into the future and broadly around the world the knowledge and lessons learned through the Great East Japan Earthquake regarding disaster reduction. This important conference will be the start of that process.

Afterwards, within the disaster area in Miyagi Prefecture I visited the site of a project to restore disaster-prevention forests by recycling disaster debris as well as a facility using leading-edge technology to cultivate strawberries and tomatoes.

Reconstruction of the disaster-stricken areas is another case in which we can't simply raise the battle cry and move forward in an instant. However, there are many who are ardently advancing down the path towards reconstruction one step at a time. The government will work closely together in support of such people to the fullest extent, using all possible means.

Although it may be conveyed only by degrees over time, we will tenaciously take on the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems and the reconstruction of the disaster-affected areas, progressing steadily forward step by step, even if only by a very short distance. I intend to take just such an approach as I continue to focus intently on "generating results."

Yoshihiko Noda
Prime Minister of Japan
July 4, 2012

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