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Aso Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.17 (February 5, 2009)

" I will eradicate the intermediation for bureaucrats' 'amakudari' and 'watari.' "
-- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Taro AsoProfile Japanese

"Amakudari" (the practice of civil servants obtaining posts in related organizations after retirement from public office) and "watari" (the practice of retired civil servants switching jobs among related organizations) intermediated by government ministries and agencies will continue to be allowed by law during a transitional period extending for three years from the present time. After that, all re-employment intermediation will be conducted by a third-party organization known as the Center for Personnel Interchanges between the Government and Private Entities, while the practice of "watari" will be prohibited.

"However, I clearly stated that applications for 'watari' shall not be accepted. In addition, I hope to accelerate efforts to eradicate job-searching on behalf of retiring officials from ministries and agencies seeking 'amakudari' without waiting for the passage of three years. In concrete terms, we aim to establish a government ordinance that by the end of this year will end the practices of 'watari' and 'amakudari,' in an effort to make clear the government's stance."

This was the answer I gave at the Diet on February 3 concerning the practice of "watari" by civil servants. However, the Reemployment Surveillance Commission, an organization vital to efforts to prohibit intermediation for "watari" and "amakudari" permanently from next year, has not yet been institutionalized due to resistance from the opposition parties.

In my policy speech to the current session of the Diet, I stressed the need for ceaseless administrative reforms and thorough elimination of waste.

We must accelerate civil service system reforms. This is a top priority issue for the Cabinet. For the acceleration, we need to overcome all obstacles. I am asking for the people's understanding and support in this effort.

Human resources should be utilized. I think that one-sided bashing of civil servants harms Japan's national interest. Civil servants are to be utilized in a manner that ensures their skills come to the fore. My role is to make sure that civil servants demonstrate their abilities to the full when carrying out their duties.

Yet, there is no need at all for them to have privileges. Rather, we must abolish privileges and build a system to ensure that civil servants are highly motivated and work hard.

". . .for every public service employee as a servant of the entire people to raise his/her capabilities, to share the same viewpoint as the people, to become aware of his/her responsibility, and to fulfill his/her duty with pride. . ." (Article 1 of the Civil Service Reform Law.)

Going back to this starting point, I will firmly push through reforms of the civil service system for the people.

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General Editor: Prime Minister Taro Aso
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Jun Matsumoto
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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