1. Absolute Commitment to Reform
As a politician, I have an unwavering commitment to reform, which means cutting out waste in government thoroughly and working toward a society in which we can make optimum use of the best practices and energy of regional and local governments and of private sector corporations and organizations. Through steady progress in implementing administrative and public finance reform, we aim to cut expenditures and achieve, streamlined, efficient government.
Currently, the combined debt (outstanding obligations) of Japan’s national and regional governments exceeds one quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) yen. Unless something is done about this, we will be leaving a great financial burden on our future generations. Our aim is to reduce this debt by maintaining stable economic growth and implementing fiscal management that doesn’t depend on deficit budgets in order to leave the next generation a country where they can live in prosperity and with assurance.
2. Promoting the Development of Industry
1) Japan’s Monozukuri
The foundation of our country’s economic strength is human resources that bring a high level of technological expertise and excellence to their work. Based on a belief in the ability to design, engineer and manufacture outstanding products that we call Monozukuri as the key to Japan’s economic competitiveness, we aim to establish the framework for a business environment that enables our industries to move ahead proactively in today’s globalizing economy to leverage their strengths and technological prowess.
2) Science, Technology and Intellectual Property
Based on the vision of building a nation that is creative in science and technology, we will support measures to maintain and strengthen our country’s competitiveness in cutting-edge fields such as materials, nanotechnology and biotechnology and reflect them in our economic activities through the cooperative efforts of industry, government and academia.
Japan’s exports today are great in number and diversity, ranging from industrial products and advanced technologies to music, manga and video/computer games. In today’s globalized economy, protection of the intellectual property rights for these products is an important issue. We will work to ensure that these national assets will not suffer from illegal or unfair infringements on due intellectual property rights.
3) Regional Reconstruction and Community Development
Reviving the creative and productive potential of the regional communities and strengthening measures to build on the unique characters of each region is an important task that we will continue to support. To do this we will promote and support efforts to create sustainable economic development and employment in each region based on regional leadership and independence. While placing importance on links with the resident associations, neighborhood associations and the like that have long played a vital role in the communities, we will seek to build regional communities in which everyone can take part in a positive role.
Furthermore, in order to promote community development in which the people of the communities themselves play the leading role, we will promote programs to revive city centers in ways that bring out local color and character and programs that encourage productive exchange and cooperation between communities. It is also important that the revitalizing and rebuilding of our cities and towns includes strengthening buildings’ resistance to earthquakes, as well as strengthening preparedness for the urban-type natural disasters occurring with increasing frequency in recent years, including the building of underground adjustment reservoirs to deal with flooding due to concentrated rainfall, etc. In these ways we will build communities with a high level of preparedness for all kinds of natural disasters, both in the major urban centers and the regional communities alike.
In order to promote community development with the people of the communities themselves playing the leading role, we will promote programs to revive city centers in ways that bring out local color and character, to ensure preservation of attractive community scenery and greenery, programs to create life environments that people find soothing and enriching, and initiatives to relive chronic traffic jams and promote inter-community cooperation in improving the traffic infrastructure, as well as ones to make public transportation barrier-free.
4) Small and Medium-sized Businesses
The mainstays of the Japanese economy are the small and medium-sized businesses that make up 99.7% of all companies in the country. We will continue to support small and medium-sized businesses through favorable control measures, systems and tax measures, and to prevent obstacles in their efforts to secure financing, we will pursue measures to strengthen the financing functions of for small and medium-sized businesses with the aim of providing a business environment that enables their stable growth and development.
3. Foreign Relations
1) Respect and Trust
In order to establish independent foreign relations that win the respect and trust of the international community and especially our neighboring nations, we aim to conduct foreign relations with a focus on international cooperation and with the relationship between Japan and the United States as a central priority. In line with United Nations reforms, we seek to build a framework for foreign relations consistent with the changing world order in the 21st century. Furthermore, we will take firm stands on issues involving the national interests of Japan, including defending the integrity of our national borders, territorial waters and economic water zones, marine rights and interests and the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the past.
2) East Asian Development
Currently, it is hard to say that our region of Asia has achieved anything like the cooperative union that exists in Europe with the European Union (EU). There is a need for us to think about our nation’s position in Asia from both ideological and realistic perspectives and to take a leading role in forwarding development of the Asian region and Japan and building mutual trust with the region’s nations. We believe that Japan must make a big contribution to the region by playing a pivotal role in creating an Asian union that is no less effective and beneficial as the European Union.
3) The Changing Realities of National Security
Unlike natural disasters that can occur unpredictably at any time and in any place, wars and conflicts are things that can be prevented. Amid the major changes in the realities of security surrounding Japan, we will examine and fill in the gaps in the various laws concerning national defense during peacetime to enable us to take decisive measures to defend against any type of situation that may threaten the peace and security of the people of Japan.
4. Assurance and Security in Daily Life
1) Sustainable Welfare Systems
With Japan’s rapid transformation into a society of low birth rates, high percentages of elderly citizens and the start of diminishing population, there is an urgent need to establish sustainable social security systems that will enable the people to live without anxiety about the future. Towards this end, we are committed to using all revenue from consumption tax for social security programs and continuing to strengthen the systems for pensions, support for children and child raising, medical services and insurance benefits and individual defrayments for care of the elderly. I firmly believe that we must use all means available to prevent the collapse of the social security system, and to build it into a system that enables the citizens to live with assurance.
2) Preparedness for all type of natural disasters
In order to be prepared for the occurrence of an earthquake directly hitting the Tokyo area, earthquakes of the Tonankai and Nankai regions and large-scale tsunami tidal waves, we will continue to implement strong measures for disaster prevention strengthen, reduction of disaster effect and prevention of infrastructure deterioration. At the same time, we will continue measures to achieve demanded levels of earthquake resistance for private residences, buildings and infrastructure such as roads and dikes and break walls. Also, to protect against flood damage due to intense rainfall and the like that has occurred often in recent years, effective measures will be taken in areas such as river improvement and strengthening of flood prevention functions, along with emergency measures to prevent flooding in the urban centers to improve overall drainage capacity.
3) Preserving the environment and securing assets for society
Maintaining a positive balance that enables the populace to live in harmony with the rich natural environment of our country is not only the first step toward solving the world’s environmental problems but also plays a role in preventing the natural disasters that strike on almost a yearly basis. We see the natural environment’s flood prevention, soil conservation, moisture and heat retention, absorption of carbon dioxide and noise and wind moderating functions as natural assets of the society that we need to actively preserve and make beneficial use of.
4) Recovering public safety and ensuring national security
In recent years, the progress in IT and information terminals ahs led to the growth of new types of crime that threaten the security and safety of the people’s lives. To counter and prevent such crimes, we will take effective measures through means such as amendment of relevant laws. Furthermore, in line with the government’s strategy for “Making Japan the Safest Country in the World,” we will, with an eye to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, promote the strengthening of security measures and sustainable systems to ensure public safety. I believe that in order to protect the lives and property of our citizens we need a defense capability that is adequate and appropriate in light of the current international conditions and those in the Far East region. To deal not only with the threat facing a use of military force but also dealing with terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cyber terrorism and more, I believe that we need to review and revise our preparedness, centering around the response capabilities of the National Defense Forces.
5. Education and human resources development
1) Cultivating a sense of morality and ethics
The occurrence in recent years of distressing incidents in which children are victimized or at times become the perpetrators of serious crimes, we feel a pressing need to review the state of education in our country. We feel an urgent need to address the issue of moral education, the cultivation of an understanding the feelings and pain of others and the ethics of what is right and wrong, which has been lacking in postwar Japan. Toward that aim, we intend to work in line with the amendments to the basic education laws to promote not only the expression of freedoms and rights of the individual but also to encourage personal development of individuals who understand the responsibility to show concern for others and the society at large.
2) The educational capacity of regional communities
The task of protecting our children from becoming the victims of crime and also to cultivating in them a sense of social responsibility through education is not something that can be achieved by the schools and parents/guardians alone. The entire community has to be involved in education. In order for parents/guardians to raise and educate their children with assurance, systematic public-sector support is of course necessary, but we believe that it is also necessary to re-build networks that involve the entire community in child-raising and education through efforts such as helping to ensure the safety of children on their way to and from school and in the public places where they play.
3) Education that nurtures individual potential and talents
Every child is full of untapped potential. In order to bring out that potential in ways that will enrich the child’s future, they need education that encourages their desire to learn and their learning skills to help their talents to blossom. We believe that the blossoming of talent is something that also requires a positive social orientation and a health body. For that reason we will actively pursue things like programs that provide experiential education that helps children experience things for themselves and programs that develop the child’s understanding of the importance of nutrition and eating habits.