Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 157 (September 30, 2004)
[Lion Heart -- Message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi]
Inauguration of the "Reform Implementation Cabinet"
I reshuffled my Cabinet on Monday, September 27.
Three years and five months have passed since my inauguration as Prime Minister, during which time I have encountered and dealt with an ever accumulating number of issues, on both domestic and foreign fronts.
In terms of foreign policy, working to ensure the strong Japan-US relations, I have also striven to achieve international coordination, based on the clear recognition that the development and prosperity of Japan is inextricably linked to the peace and stability of the world as a whole. There will be no change to this policy.
Turning to internal affairs, I have advanced reforms founded on the basic policies of, "leave to the private sector what it can do," and "leave to the localities what they can do," being fully aware that Japan will not be able to adapt to the changes in a new era if it clings to its current systems.
In response to my reform track, I was faced with criticism from various quarters. Some decried that the Japanese economy would only sink further if reforms were advanced at a time of economic downturn and deflation, resulting in increased unemployment and bankruptcies. Others declared that the policy of "without reform there will be no growth" was misguided and that in actual fact the policy should be "without growth there will be no reform."
As a result of belt-tightening measures despite the difficult situation and by pressing forward with reforms, progress has been made in the disposal of non-performing loans and at last the economy is recovering. I am sure that the nay-sayers too have come to understand that the track of "without reform there will be no growth" has proved to be the right one.
We will finally begin drafting the bills on the privatization of the postal services, which is at the heart of my reforms. This means we have now entered a stage of putting into effect the reforms that have thus far been promoted.
The new Cabinet could be dubbed the "Postal Privatization Implementation Cabinet" or the "Reform Implementation Cabinet."
In the Cabinet reshuffle, I have appointed two reform-minded young members in their early 40s. They will join the experienced Cabinet veterans, and I expect all will work together in unity towards realizing reforms, founded on the basic policies of, "leave to the private sector what it can do," and "leave to the localities what they can do."
It is generally the case that even when people agree to the general principle of reform, once they get down to the details, voices of opposition are inevitably raised. I will promote reforms with a firm determination and sense of mission that there is absolutely no turning back on the reform track.
In these efforts, I ask for the continued support of the readers of the e-mail magazine.
* The title of this column "Lion Heart" is a reference to the Prime Minister's lion-like hairstyle and his unbending determination to advance structural reform.
- Prime Minister Appoints Senior Vice-Ministers (September 29, 2004)
- Inauguration of the Reshuffled Second Koizumi Cabinet (September 27, 2004)
- Prime Minister Has Been Appointed to Honorary Chairman of the
2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan (September 24, 2004)
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