Fukuda Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.41 (July 31, 2008) ============================================================
"Steadily implementing policies. This is Yasuo Fukuda."
"Both those in politics and the administration just do not seem to be thinking about the people."
Many of the Japanese people must harbor a sense of distrust like the one above.
Since assuming the post of Prime Minister in September of last year, I have pushed forward reforms from the public's viewpoint, resolving to change the traditional practices of politics and the administration.
As the leader of national politics and the administration, I have looked at things from the standpoint of the people whenever addressing issues that we face. Those issues include: the pension record problem, the response to the people who contracted hepatitis through blood products, the series of scandals at the Ministry of Defense, food poisoning and incorrect food labeling, and waste of tax revenue by the administration.
These reforms from the public's viewpoint have now been focused into concrete policies.
The day before yesterday, I compiled the Five-Point Reassurance Plan, which outlines the specific policies to ensure that the people can live their everyday lives with a sense of reassurance. This plan will address issues such as the problem of emergency patients being passed around hospitals, the problem of waiting lists for nursery schools that parents with small children are faced with, and the problem of the large number of young people still being forced into unstable employment as non-regular employees such as part-time and dispatched workers.
Last month, I also compiled ideas on the organization of an Agency for Consumer Affairs; the helmsman of the Government whose protagonist is the consumer. We are currently preparing bills, with an aim to establish the Agency in the coming fiscal year.
As I have been working to ensure that wasteful administrative spending is cut to zero, I decided to establish the Council for Comprehensive Review of Administrative Expenditures. The Council, composed of private-sector experts, will conduct rigorous external checks of spending, rather than the administration making such decisions at their own convenience.
I have also just drawn up a concrete action plan for the creation of a low-carbon society, in order to protect the global environment and pass it on to future generations.
Over the 10 months since I assumed office, my idea of the "reforms from the public's viewpoint" has gradually pervaded through politics and the administration, changing the mindsets of politicians and civil servants. Regarding what needs to be done to achieve these reforms, I can say for sure that the specific blueprints have almost all been put in place.
Some people may feel that my efforts, being rather unpretentious, have been insufficient. I will accept whatever criticism is offered, while going over those things that need to be reviewed.
Furthermore, I will place greater emphasis on promptly and steadily implementing the policies that we have compiled thus far.
The reforms from the public's viewpoint are moving to a new stage, and I am determined to make steady progress, together with the people, one step at a time.
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