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Hatoyama Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 24 (March 26, 2010)

Yukio Hatoyama's "Yu-Ai" -- Message from the Prime Minister
(provisional translation of the Japanese version of the Hatoyama Cabinet E-mail Magazine, which is delivered on Thursdays)

Prime Minister HatoyamaProfile Japanese

"A new start"

The fiscal 2010 budget was passed this Wednesday. About six months on from last September's change of government, the Hatoyama Cabinet was able to formulate its first full-scale budget and pass it by the end of the fiscal year. I feel that we are now at the starting point where we can finally implement the policies we have been communicating to the public.

Striving for a politics that protects people's lives, we wanted to support people's lives more than anything else and put their daily lives first. It was out of this desire that we have placed our focus in the fiscal 2010 budget particularly on policies for child-rearing, medical care, employment, and the environment. While we have managed to prevent the economy from falling into a double-dip recession, the employment situation remains a severe one. We will advance projects swiftly so that these policies will have an effect as soon as possible.

Heeding the people's voice, which urges us not to be hindered by the fetters of the past and convention but to thoroughly review the existing budget, and based on the principle of "not spending on concrete, but on people," we have eliminated public works that have no clear impact and proactively engaged in investing in people.

We will start a child allowance so that people can give birth to and raise children with peace of mind. We will also work to eliminate day-care waiting lists by increasing places at child-care facilities by about 50,000 a year for the next five years, utilizing empty classrooms at elementary and junior high schools, and enhance a variety of child-care services, such as extended day-care and day-care for sick or recovering children, based on the Vision on Children and Child-rearing adopted recently by the Cabinet. Moreover, we will make public high school tuition free and lessen the burden of tuition at private high schools so that all high school students can concentrate on their studies without anxiety, regardless of their family circumstances.

Reviving medical care is also an important issue. We will aim to improve services at core hospitals of the community, emergency care, obstetrics, pediatrics, and surgery through the first upward revision of the remuneration for medical services in ten years and a thorough review of the way these remunerations are allocated.

In the area of employment, we will drastically shorten the eligibility criteria for employment insurance, from a prospect of over six months of employment to over 31 days, in order to relieve the employment insecurity of people who work. We will also increase the resources for employment adjustment subsidies by a factor of more than 10 compared to the amount budgeted for the current fiscal year with the aim to alleviate the burden of business operators working hard to maintain employment.

These policies to support people's lives and protect employment, when executed seamlessly together with the emergency economic countermeasures that the second supplementary budget passed at the end of January underpins, will provide a foothold for economic recovery in the form of the creation of new demand and expansion of consumption.

Some bills that the government submitted, including those related to the budget, are still in deliberation. We will thoroughly discuss these bills at the Diet and aim for their early passage.

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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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