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Hatoyama Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 28 (April 23, 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

"So that the people can feel the change of government"

Debate continues in the Diet on major legislative bills. This week, deliberations on the bill to establish a basic act on global warming countermeasures has begun, while both Houses of the Diet continue deliberating the bill to amend the National Public Service Act and the bills related to regional sovereignty.

I have received a comment from readers of the e-mail magazine that they hear about all sorts of policies but cannot feel their effect in their daily lives. The government has been steadily implementing its policies in accordance with the budgets and laws as they are enacted.

For example, the eligibility criteria for enrollment in employment insurance was relaxed from "a prospect of over six months of employment" to "over 31 days" starting this April, and we have begun accepting applications under this new standard. About 2.55 million people have become newly eligible, and an environment for the people to work with a greater sense of security is being developed.

Moreover, many people must have used the home appliances eco-point system and the eco-car tax benefits and subsidy that we have decided to continue. Between May last year, when the eco-point system was launched, and the end of March this year, the combined sales of three items: TV sets, air conditioners, and refrigerators, increased by approximately 30 percent from the same period the previous year. As a result, flat screen TV sets have become increasingly popular, their ownership ratio reaching an average of over one to each household for the first time, according to a Cabinet Office survey conducted at the end of March.

Additionally, under the newly launched housing eco-point system, in the 24 days from March 8, when we began accepting applications, to March 31, we received 3,690 applications, mainly for renovation.

We have launched the process to make tuition free at public senior high schools for the approximately 2.5 million students enrolled in them. Now that the monthly tuition payments have become a thing of the past. This must be helping to alleviate at least some of the burden on these households. Preparation to provide funds to support enrollment at private senior high schools and their equivalents is also proceeding. And we have begun mailing the application forms for the child allowance.

As such, the results of concrete policies are beginning to reach the households. We the government will work as one toward making the effects of even more of our policies felt by everyone.

The second phase of the review of government programs begins April 23. We will take up incorporated administrative agencies and government-affiliated public interest corporations and closely examine the necessity and efficiency of their programs, among other considerations. We will thoroughly eliminate waste and reflect the results in the formulation of the budget for the next fiscal year.

Regarding the relocation of Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, I am truly sorry for the anxiety that has been caused among the people concerned. I ask for your understanding as we are sparing no efforts to resolve the issue by the end of May.

Finally, the court just delivered its verdict in the trial of my former aide. It is deeply regrettable and I feel a sense of responsibility. For my part, I intend to fulfill this responsibility by devoting myself to working for the people of Japan and meeting their expectations that we will bring major changes to politics through the change of government.

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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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