Prime Minister NODA's BLOG

It has been a while since I last updated my blog.

I was reelected to the presidency of the DPJ in the party presidential election held on the 21st. I am truly thankful for having received the support of so many party members and supporters, local assembly members, and Diet members. And yet what is primary within me at this moment, even more than this bubbling sense of exaltation, is a weighty sense of duty.

Through the party presidential election I have come to feel very keenly the scrutiny directed at the DPJ from all levels of society. Fellow party presidential candidates Hirotaka Akamatsu, Kazuhiro Haraguchi, and Michihiko Kano delivered quite a number of frank and harsh criticisms regarding how I have handled the political administration until the present. I feel that I must reflect seriously on the points where I myself have come up short, reform those areas that must be reformed, and remobilize the strengths of the DPJ as a team.

At the same time, the election served as an opportunity to re-evaluate in a level-headed manner the results that have been achieved since the historic change of government and I believe that I was able to receive reconfirmation from a great number of people regarding the overall sense of direction regarding the policies and measures that the Noda administration has advanced thus far.

Last night I returned from New York, which I had visited in order to attend the United Nations General Assembly. Accommodating the time difference was difficult on this trip in that it was a four day, two night itinerary including the 24 hours spent on the airplane heading there and back, and while that is nothing out of the ordinary, my internal clock, which had just been inverted by half a day, needed to be reset again within a short time.

At the UN General Assembly, I delivered an address for the second time, following the address I gave last year.

In my address I set "responsibility for tomorrow and three pearls of wisdom" as the theme running throughout the speech. It is a message of now bringing together three pearls of wisdom that humankind has accumulated, namely the power to give adequate thought to not only the "now" but also the "future," the perspective of looking at the earth on which we live from outside of it, and the manner in which human beings settle disputes reasonably on the basis of rules, in order to surmount the issues that the world and humankind now face in common.

I particularly emphasized that we should resolve issues within the international community, including territorial issues, through "reason" rather than "force." And, should a dispute arise, it should be resolved using reason and peaceful means, in accordance with international law.

While it might not be well-known even within Japan, Japan is making tremendous personnel and financial contributions to international judicial institutions which adjudicate various disputes between nations based on international law. I touched upon such points and also emphasized the significance of making use of the International Court of Justice.

The occasion of the UN General Assembly is not fundamentally a forum for asserting the stance of one's own country regarding individual circumstances surrounding one's territory or for exchanging words with other countries. As a result, I did not refer to any particular concrete cases directly.

In the end, in the wake of the address given by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi of China, I consider it deeply regrettable that at the UN General Assembly the situation turned into an exchange of words between China and Japan, responding in defense of their own positions. Even while properly asserting those points that should be asserted, Japan will consistently adopt a broad perspective and respond in a calm and resolute manner.

I consider diplomacy to be the act of facing other nations as our country as a whole. In addition, we cannot forget that the dignity of the Japanese people is also being called into question. In the modern age, it is impermissible under any circumstances to employ violence in order to follow through on one's assertions. What I stated at the UN General Assembly also pertains to the situation domestically. I call on each and every citizen to adopt a level-headed response to matters.

Early in October I will reshuffle my Cabinet. I will decide upon a new lineup that will enhance the functioning of the Cabinet and, working together with the People's New Party, which plays a role in the ruling coalition, I intend to continue to devote my utmost efforts to addressing the great number of challenges facing us.

The LDP and The New Komeito have also elected new party presidents. I made a congratulatory telephone call from New York to newly-elected LDP president Shinzo Abe. I would like for us as responsible political parties that coordinated the three-party agreement on the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems to discuss thoroughly measures that will carry politics forward even as we continue to engage mutually in friendly competition.

Yoshihiko Noda
Prime Minister of Japan
September 28, 2012

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