Prime Minister NODA's BLOG

A new Prime Minister is scheduled to be elected at the special session of the Diet to be convened on the 26th. I would like to say a few words to the public before the general resignation of the Cabinet.

With its various ups and downs, the Noda Cabinet inaugurated on September 2, 2011 did not tread a smooth path by any means, but it made tireless efforts to shoulder the weighty responsibility of holding the reins of government. Even when there were challenging issues that split public opinion in two, the Noda Cabinet made decisions for the sake of future generations and fully devoted ourselves to getting "motionless politics" moving again.

The highest priorities which we set forth - recovery and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, the fight against the nuclear accident, and economic revival. The comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems that I took on, putting my political career on the line. Political and administrative reform, including reducing the number of Diet members. While all of these are still only half complete, I believe we moved steadily forward, one step at a time.

Counting once more, I found that since taking office, I have met with 81 foreign heads of state and government over a total of 131 summit meetings. In particular, the seven meetings I had with President Barack Obama of the United States were memorable for me as they deepened the Japan-U.S. alliance. I also developed our economic diplomacy through the launching of economic partnership negotiations with a wide range of regions and other endeavors.

I would like for the next administration to move forward at least to some extent on these domestic and international issues confronting national policy. That is my earnest wish.

Above all, I would like the next administration to carry the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems through to the end, on the basis of the discussions of the National Council. As another point, I would like them to realize without fail during the next ordinary Diet session a reduction in the number of Diet members, as this is something that was pledged at the Party Leaders' Debate, in view of the public. These are my thoughts on those matters.

Recently, I have been thinking about the curious nature of the kizuna - the bonds of friendship - that bind people together. I came to shoulder the weighty responsibility of being the prime minister after a number of unexpected quirks of fate all came together. I met a great many people all over the country and was able to form connections with them. All of the Diet members, whether in the ruling or opposition parties. The Cabinet ministers and the three political-level appointees (the ministers, the senior vice ministers, and the parliamentary secretaries). All the many office personnel working behind the scenes. I carried out my day-to-day duties through the help of a great many people.

Fulfilling the role of "safeguarding the daily lives of the people" as the person responsible for the government means, in my view, that I have a connection with all the Japanese people in spirit, even though I may never have the pleasure of meeting them face to face. In that sense, these were 482 days in which I was supported by each individual in the public.

Until the general resignation of the Cabinet on the 26th, I will continue to fulfill my duties with proper vigilance, including in the area of crisis management. With a flood of emotions, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the people who so kindly supported me until now.

I extend my sincere appreciation to all of you.

Yoshihiko Noda
Prime Minister of Japan
December 21, 2012

* This is the final delivery of "Prime Minister Noda's Blog." Thank you very much for reading it.

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