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Hatoyama Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 12 (Dec. 25 2009 - Jan. 1, 2010)
* Next issue will be delivered on January 8, 2010.

Yukio Hatoyama's "Yu-Ai" -- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister HatoyamaProfile Japanese

"The 100th day of the new government"

Today is Christmas Eve.* This day also marks the 100th day since the inauguration of the new government. Everything was a new experience, an encounter with the unknown. It has been 100 days in which I constantly have thought about how to realize politics of political leadership, and a society of popular sovereignty and regional sovereignty in the true sense of the words.

The biggest challenge that the national government currently faces is to achieve both economic recovery and the restoration of fiscal health. This week, we have decided on the Main Outline of Reforms to the Tax System necessary for this. The formulation of the budget for the next fiscal year has also reached its final stage this week.

Regarding the provisional tax rate for gasoline in particular, after listening attentively to the various opinions of the general public and going through continuous careful considerations, we have decided to maintain the tax rate, while abolishing the structure of the provisional tax rate, which has continued for 10 years.

There is a drop in tax revenues of close to 10 trillion yen, which we could not envision at the time when we were formulating our Manifesto. At the same time, there are voices requesting that we do something with the economy to overcome the severe economic situation and deflation. We want to respond to these voices. That is why we decided to ask for the necessary fiscal resources for implementing new measures on the scale of 2 trillion yen in the next fiscal year's budget, aiming to advance steps to secure employment, revitalize regional economies, and support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in addition to the recent emergency economic countermeasures. As the high-level COP15 event was held in Copenhagen at the end of last week, we must take into account the global environment as well.

It is true that we have failed to carry out our Manifesto to completion, which I have stated is a contract with the public. For this, I must apologize to the people of Japan in a straightforward manner and, ask for their understanding.

The fiscal 2010 budget will focus on child-rearing, employment, the environment, and science and technology. This is to realize politics that places the utmost importance on human lives and defends people's daily lives. We spent much time in particular deliberating on a child allowance and, as a result, came to the conclusion to establish it without setting an income limit. This is because we believe that children should be raised by society as a whole. I fully understand that some people are in favor of setting an income limit. We will establish a convenient system for those who do not necessarily need the allowance to donate the money to the local government so that it can be used for child-rearing in the community.

There has been criticism that tax system reforms will impose a tax increase. Our decision on the tobacco tax stems from our desire to protect the people's health. The reviews of various tax deductions for dependents follow the basic principle of "from deductions to allowances," which also comes from our desire to properly care for people with lower incomes. I sincerely ask for the people's understanding on this matter.

The new government's policy for the budget formulation is to measure what comes in and control what goes out. We will depart from a budget formulation where expenditure comes first and what is not enough will be covered by the unregulated issuance of government bonds. We will place importance on fiscal discipline, respect the evaluation results of the scrutinizing of public projects to push forward a drastic review of expenditures, and keep the issuance of government bonds in the next fiscal year to under approximately 44 trillion yen.

In addition to the formulation of the fiscal 2010 budget, the government will formulate a new growth strategy which will incorporate a view to encourage the vigorous development of Asia as a whole so that the Japanese economy and society will be able to achieve mid- to long-term sustainable development. As the population starts to shrink and the aging of society rapidly advances, I want to firmly draw a picture of the future of this country and realize it.

Last but not least, the entire Cabinet, wishing to make 2010 a good year for all, will put forth all its efforts into the realization of its policies. We ask for your continued understanding and support.

* The Japanese version of this e-mail magazine, which is the original version, was delivered on December 24.

* Profile of the Prime Minister

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General Editor: Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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