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Fukuda Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.11 (December 20, 2007) ============================================================

"Steadily getting things done, one by one. This is Yasuo Fukuda."
-- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Yasuo FukudaProfile Japanese

Steadily getting things done, one by one. This is Yasuo Fukuda.

The Government is undertaking work on name identification in order to uncover payment histories, among the 50 million unidentified pension records, which may be indexed to the people's basic pension numbers.

This identification work by the Government and confirmation by each pension contributor of his or her pension records are both required to verify that the record in question is that of a specific pension contributor.

Starting this week, the Government is using the Pension Special Notification Service to inform individuals who are each prospectively linked to a pension record, to each of which the Government is matching a contributor's name, of their payment history. Please take the time to have a good look at the details described therein.

In the notification, a contributor will find details of his or her pension payment record as far as the Government has been able to determine to date. If the details recorded are inconsistent with the contributor's understanding of his or her own situation - cases of such inconsistency include omitted periods with previous employers or contributions made prior to marriage - the Government requests that it be informed, as soon as possible, of the inconsistency.

Some of you may have been led to believe that the problems surrounding the nation's pension records were to be solved in their entirety by the end of March 2008. I offer my sincere apologies for our insufficient explanation of the Government's plan, which may have given people the mistaken impression that the Government was scheduled to have advanced beyond the name identification stage by March of next year.

The identification work and the notification service are only the first steps toward a complete solution to the problems, and each contributor's cooperation in confirming the details contained in the notification will be indispensable in this process. As we advance our endeavors, I ask for the understanding of the people of Japan.

Furthermore, the Government will send a notification to all pension recipients and contributors between April and October of next year, for the purpose of confirmation of individual payment histories.

Many of you may be feeling insecure about the Government's handling of your own pension, but please be assured that we will continue to make every effort and use all available means to clear any anxieties that the people have about their pension records, one case at a time.

I believe that there is no other way to recover the trust of the people but to steadily carry out the things we need to do and realize the achievements necessary in order to solve the problems. What is more, I am determined to turn the Japanese pension system, which has had many problems in the past, into a system known for its unprecedented level of security.

We must develop well-designed systems to ensure that all the people experience a sense of security in regard to important issues of everyday concern, such as the ones related to the pension system, medical and nursing care systems, and the issue of the declining birthrate.

Accordingly, I have decided to convene a national commission early next year to discuss the modality of social security. The commission will deliberate on matters that are directly linked to the people's lives. Given the gravity of the matters to be discussed, I will bring together representatives from every sector and every layer of society, including the political parties, workers, consumers, women, and the business world.

As Japan is now facing the issues of an aging society and falling birthrate, I would like the commission to seriously discuss, from a broad perspective, what kind of society Japan should aspire to become in the future.

[What's New in Government Internet TV]

- Prime Minister's Week in Review (December 3 to 9, 2007)

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Prime Minister Meets with His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates (December 17, 2007) and others

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General Editor: Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matushige Oono
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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