July 11, 2012, in response to a question from Councillor Junichi Ishii during the Plenary Session of the House of Councillors
"Not only recovery and reconstruction from the earthquake disaster, the fight against the nuclear accident, and responses to the economic and financial crisis, but also overcoming the crisis facing the sustainability of social security and public finances as well as forging politics able to make decisions all overlap substantially with my aim when I aspired to become a politician and my policies oriented towards ideals.
One of the politicians I respect is Robert Kennedy.
'If politics endlessly follows ideals then policy implementation becomes impossible. Yet, if politics endlessly follows a pragmatic course there is no romance, no tears. We need idealism without illusion.'
These words now hit very close to home."