Prime Minister NODA's BLOG

The functions of the government do not stop even after the House of Representatives has been dissolved. I returned from Cambodia in the pre-dawn hours of the 21st and since then I have continued to fulfill my official duties as Prime Minister.

Taking advantage of the recent three-day weekend, on the 23rd I first of all observed an electric power plant in Ohgishima in the city of Kawasaki. Wind-generated electricity making use of Japan's technological strength. Large-scale solar power generation in which solar panels spread out across a site equivalent in size to roughly five Tokyo Domes. Renewable energy has actually begun to provide part of the electric supply at a location so close to an urban center. It is cultivating this small shoot into something larger that is the driving force steadily pushing forward the major goal of "bringing the operation of nuclear reactors to zero by the 2030's." I intend to include bold policies in the "Framework for Green Development Policy" that will be compiled from now.

The following day, the 24th, in the city of Tama in Tokyo I visited a group home for people with dementia as well as a household where a person receives at-home medical care. Currently, one in ten elderly persons over the age of 65 has dementia, and it is said that ten years from now when the baby boomers pass 75 years of age, the percentage will be 50% greater. We must hurry to prepare ways of dealing with this situation that are comfortably accessible. In September, the government compiled comprehensive measures known as the "Orange Plan." These will steadily enter into concrete form from the next fiscal year. I also perceived very tangibly the enthusiasm and tenacity of the staff. Reform in the area of treatment is also among the issues we face.

I stood at curbside in front of a train station in Tama and gave a political speech, which is something I hadn't done in quite some time. Since taking office as Prime Minister, one of the things I have felt to be the most inconvenient is that I have become unable to stand on a street corner and make speeches as I please. For me, who for 25 years held a microphone for three hours every morning in Funabashi appealing to the passersby, I feel that I came back to my roots in spirit. I very much wish to appeal to the public in as many places as possible all around the country.

Today (the 27th), with regard to the budget related to reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake, which has been the subject of various criticisms, based on a "new review" of government programs as well as discussions in the Diet, we decided on a concrete policy that will in the future be concentrated on reconstruction and assistance for people's lives in the affected areas while rigorously narrowing down budget items that are outside the disaster areas. Moreover, concerning the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems, we decided upon the members of the "National Council on Social Security System Reform," which will deliberate remaining issues in this area. We have also just finished confirming our basic policy for approaching international negotiations on climate change. It has also been decided that the second round of Japan-North Korea intergovernmental consultations will be held on December 5th and 6th in Beijing. The tasks that must be done by the government do not allow for any gaps. I will continue to move forward in these areas in a solemn manner.

The DPJ has released its new Manifesto. It incorporates reflections on, and lessons learned from, all that has happened thus far and serves as a foundation for steadily advancing pragmatic policies. With this new Manifesto in hand and together with like-minded people sharing a common resolve, I am determined to advance the reforms that could never have taken place in the days before the change of government.

Yoshihiko Noda
Prime Minister of Japan
November 27, 2012

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