Prime Minister NODA's BLOG

Last week, I held a press conference following the series of sovereignty-related incidents in Japan's surrounding marine zones. I would like for as many Japanese as possible to know the historical background, and I also wish to use it as an opportunity to appeal to the world regarding Japan's reasoning.

Naturally, it is imperative that the parties involved maintain their level-headed approach. I will continue to engage in these affairs adopting a broad viewpoint, taking a stance of saying what needs to be said while solemnly moving forward where we should move forward.

Yesterday, Minister of State for Disaster Management Masaharu Nakagawa announced a new estimate of damages that could result from an earthquake in the Nankai Trough. While the estimate supposes a large number of ensuing casualties, this is not an expectation certain to occur, but rather a supposition, for which the damage can be reduced in any number of ways as a result of our forthcoming efforts. We must be seriously engaged in a strengthening of disaster prevention measures nationwide in line with the lessons learned through the Great East Japan Earthquake.

A censure motion was passed against me yesterday in the House of Councillors. I will treat this in a solemn manner as an expression of the will of one house of our legislative body. At the same time, the reasons for the censure also included a statement that the principles of parliamentary democracy had not been upheld when we passed on the basis of a three-party agreement the bills related to the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems and others. However, if through the discussions of parliamentarians there is no willingness to search out common ground without adhering strictly to the original draft, then is it not the case that a divided Diet results in the Diet being unable to decide anything at all?

There is a wide spectrum of issues facing us, including the defense of our national land and territorial waters and the protection of people's lives and livelihoods from disasters.

I cannot help but believe that the greatest duty for the prime minister to fulfill is putting forth his full energy to overcome these challenges, not allowing for even a moment a gap in our efforts to address them, no matter what the political situation.

I am determined to move forward on the tasks I must now address, taking them one by one in a calm and solemn manner.

Yoshihiko Noda
Prime Minister of Japan
August 30, 2012

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