Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 220 (February 2, 2006)
[Lion Heart -- Message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi]
Heated debate on the supplementary budget is continuing this week at the Diet sessions. Prior to the deliberations on the FY2006 budget, deliberations have been taking place at the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors on the supplementary budget which includes the budget for measures against asbestos, potential human pandemic influenza, and falsification of earthquake-resistance data.
Considering the urgency of all the items included in the supplementary budget, I will endeavor to gain Diet approval on the budget as soon as possible and see to its swift implementation.
The budget is an important item which defines from a financial aspect the overall measures that the government is to implement. It is indeed the most important bill discussed at the Diet deliberations. So naturally, all issues facing the nation are discussed from various aspects at the deliberations conducted by the budget committees. At the deliberations of the committees, in responding to the questions raised by the Diet members who are the representatives of the people of Japan, I have been focusing all my energies into explaining the government policies in the most comprehensible and careful manner.
I intend to carry forward serious debates on grave issues affecting Japan's future development such as the issues of decreasing birthrate, social security, economic management, and diplomacy and security, in addition to the issues concerning livedoor, falsification of earthquake-resistance data, US beef imports, and the collusive bidding at the initiative of the Defense Facilities Administration Agency.
Lately, I often hear the terms "winner" and "loser" groups. Surely there will be people who succeed and those who will not when tackling a difficult situation. However, people should not put themselves down just because they are part of the "loser" group. The real significance is in the act of challenging ourselves to take on a difficult problem. I believe we must create a society in which people may keep challenging themselves even after failing once or twice by providing people in the so-called "loser" group with abundant opportunities.
I would rather point out that aside from these "winner" and "loser" groups, there is the "waiting" group who are not challenging themselves. We must create a society in which even those in this "waiting" group will exert their talent and skills to their fullest and in which each person will utilize their own ingenuity and innovation. I will continue to advance reforms while aiming to realize a society where people help each other out if there are those whose talents or skills are not enough to stand alone, and one well supported by a sustainable social security system.
Tomorrow is setsubun, and risshun, the first day of spring according to the traditional calendar, will follow, but we still have a long winter ahead of us. I imagine that this is a critical time of the year for people taking entrance exams for junior high schools, high schools, and universities. Please take good care of yourselves and do not catch a cold. I wish you the best of luck on your exams and hope that you will be able to harness fully the wisdom you have accumulated to date.
* 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.
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