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Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.8 (November 30, 2006) ============================================================

[Hello, this is Shinzo Abe] -- Message from Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Shinzo AbeProfile Japanese

Preparing the Budget

Hello, this is Shinzo Abe.

Tomorrow is already the first day of December, leaving us just one month before the end of the year. The Abe Cabinet is working hard to tackle a plethora of issues, with no time to catch our breath.

As we approach the close of the current Diet session, heated debates on the enactment of important bills are growing even more intense. Meanwhile, the Government will soon be reaching the final stages of budget formulation for the next fiscal year.

The budget provides the financial underpinnings for our national policies. The FY2007 budget is being prepared with the utmost care, as it will be the first budget to reflect the policies of the Abe Administration. Today, the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (CEFP) is compiling its basic principles for the long-discussed budget modality.

The Government has been reducing expenditures for the past five years now, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to make additional cuts. Nonetheless, the Abe Cabinet will not waver in the least in pressing forward with structural reforms, including further reductions in expenditure and the elimination of fiscal waste.

Under the principle that there can be no fiscal consolidation without growth, I will reduce expenditure thoroughly while maintaining economic growth and placing top priority on minimizing the financial burden on taxpayers. The issuance of new government bonds will be capped at a level far below that of the current fiscal year, a policy that will be included in the CEFP's basic principles. We must not use our tax revenues carelessly, even though we may be expecting them to increase. I am making every effort to reduce as much as possible the burden on future generations.

The era of propping up the economy by investing large sums of money in public works projects is now a thing of the past. The question we face today is how to cultivate Japan's true vitality and competitiveness through local and private-sector efforts, instead of using the national budget to keep the economy temporarily afloat. I will do my utmost to formulate a FY2007 budget that serves as the first step toward enhancing Japan's vitality and creating a society of opportunity where everyone has a chance to challenge again.

Last Sunday, November 26, I moved to the Prime Minister's Official Residence, which is located next to my office. Hence, from Monday, I have had virtually no commute. I can get to my office right away whenever necessary.

Moving is all the same, whether it be to the Prime Minister's Official Residence or to a regular apartment or house. You never know what you might be in need of until you actually move in. On the day of my move, I went shopping for shampoo, stationery goods and other everyday items. I also bought a jacket and some dictionaries. There were quite a number of errands to run, but strolling along the lively streets crowded with families and other people on a weekend afternoon, I enjoyed a rare chance to shop.

Since the move, I have been returning to the residence after long days greeted with mountains of belongings still packed in boxes. I plan to find time here and there to unpack and gradually settle into my new home.

[Learning Media English with E-mail Magazine]

- Answer to the quiz in the Japanese Version E-mail Magazine

Q: How do you say "shuchou-suru-gaikou" in English?
A: Proactive diplomacy.

[What's New in Government Internet TV]

- APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and Prime Minister Abe's Official Visit to Viet Nam

- Report from Viet Nam on the 14th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Meeting of the Education Rebuilding Council (November 29, 2006)
At the meeting, the intellectuals who serve on the Council presented their Urgent Recommendations Regarding the Issue of Bullying.

- Japan-Indonesia Summit Meeting (November 28, 2006)
Prime Minister Abe held a meeting with Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the President of the Republic of Indonesia.

- Prime Minister Attends Meeting of the Nation's Prefectural Governors (November 24, 2006)
Prime Minister Abe said, "Highly motivated regions, freely developing their own measures to be reborn as attractive regions, will indeed be the source of our nation's vitality and growth."

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General Editor: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Chief Editor: Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Hiroshige Seko
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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