Aso Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.8 (November 27, 2008)
"A circle of harmony"
The main purpose of this year's meeting was to share the results of the Summit in Washington, DC, with the Asia-Pacific nations so as to help deal with the financial crisis, and in this we were successful.
In addition, I proposed that Japan and the World Bank jointly establish a fund to support local banks in Asia and Latin America and that the trade insurance system be strengthened in order to make trade more secure.
For the most part, these proposals were reflected in the Leaders' Statement, constituting a major result for both Japan and the world.
On the trading front, it is important to prevent the spread of protectionism all around the world and to promote liberalization globally. This is one of the lessons learned from the Great Depression that began in 1929.
We were also able to send a strong message calling for a reaching of the framework agreement within this year at the Doha Round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
As a result, each country will "take all necessary economic and financial measures to resolve this crisis" in a coordinated manner. Japan is more than willing to fulfill its responsibility to the international community by fully implementing the expressed proposals and getting the Japanese economy back on the growth track.
Next year will be the 110th anniversary of Japanese people's immigration to Peru. At present, between 90,000 and 100,000 people of Japanese descent are living in Peru, and approximately 60,000 Peruvians are working in Japan. These people are a bridge between Japan and Peru, and are making great contributions to the societies of the respective countries.
I noticed during my meeting with President of Peru Alan Garcia Perez that he was wearing a blue ribbon badge -- a symbol of the people's wish for the resolution of the abductions issue. I was greatly encouraged by his words: "Freedom has no borders. I wish for the earliest possible return of the abductees."
The APEC countries of Asia and the Pacific Rim are joining hands to achieve a common goal beyond the bounds of history and geographical distance. I have realized that this spectacular circle around the Pacific Ocean will lead to a harmony that will be a foundation for the future of the planet.
I firmly believe that great diplomatic results will definitely have a positive impact on the Japanese economy.
Immediately after I arrived back home, the Government and the ruling parties made a decision about the policy on a second supplementary budget.
The budget comprises three parts; namely, a budget that underpins the implementation of Measures to Counter Difficulties in People's Daily Lives, a budget readied for the enactment of the Law to Strengthen Financial Functions, and measures to respond to the decline in tax revenues in FY2008. These three will be decided on together sometime around December 20. I believe that presenting the second supplementary budget to the people as a set of three parts is a clear way to gain their understanding.
In addition to the second supplementary budget, some items in the Measures to Counter Difficulties in People's Daily Lives require tax system amendments and others will be incorporated in the FY2009 budget. These should be decided on as soon as possible.
Thankfully, the measures included in the first supplementary budget have been implemented successfully. I believe that small and medium-sized companies, many of which are borrowers, will not face major cash-flow problems in December and January.
In December, I will make the utmost efforts to pass the tax system amendments and to formulate the FY2009 budget. We will convene the regular Diet session in early January, despite this being unusual, and will proceed with deliberations on the second supplementary budget.
* Profile of the Prime Minister
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- 2nd Day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting (November 23, 2008) and others
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