1. Speeches by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister at the National Diet
(1) Policy Speech by Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa to the 122nd Session of the National Diet
(November 8, 1991)
Having been appointed Prime Minister, I am taking up the reins of national government. This is an awesome responsibility. Yet I am determined to see that the ship of state steers a steady course and to respond to the trust and hopes of the people.
The international community is in a time of tremendous upheaval. There are changes taking place the likes of which occur only once every several centuries. This is widely called the post-Cold War era, but this name tells us only what has ended and not what is begun. Things are still in flux, but I would like to characterize it as the start of a time of building a new order for global peace.
Seeing that dispute and armed conflict will not soon disappear from the earth, there may be those who call me a starry-eyed optimist. Yet when I see, for example, the United States and the Soviet Union taking initiatives to substantially reduce their nuclear arsenals, I cannot help but think that the pace of change is accelerating. It is true that world peace is still maintained by the balance of military power and deterrence, but the whole world seems to be moving toward the policies advocated by Japan for decades regarding nuclear weapons. The United Nations has an increasingly important role to play in these swift moves for world peace. The United Nations' work has been proved in the Gulf Crisis, and it is also expected that a United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia will soon be constituted as a United Nations Peace-keeping Operation in the wake of the comprehensive peace agreement there and will work to maintain the peace until a new government can be installed. Given this new international climate, I believe it is imperative that Japan make the utmost effort in line with its basic Constitutional ideal of international concert to contribute to that United Nations that has such a major role to play in ensuring world peace. It goes without saying, of course, that among the indispensable underpinnings of our U.N.-centered efforts for global order are close cooperation with the United States and friendly relations with the other countries of Asia.
Japan made a truly extraordinary and resolute financial contribution during the Gulf Crisis. Looking ahead, we must recognize that our international role in the building of a global order for peace can only grow larger. Thus it is that I hope that the so-called PKO bill deliberated in the last Session of the Diet will, together with the bill to enable Self-Defense Force personnel to take part in Japan Disaster Relief Teams, be enacted as promptly as possible to allow for a human resources contribution.
The global sea changes symbolized by the collapse of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 have led even to the disbanding of the Soviet Communist Party less than two years later. This signifies the victory of the freedom and market-oriented economies in which we have so long believed. Strongly hoping that the Soviet Union and the nations of Eastern Europe wi11 effect radical reforms in the economic, political, and foreign policy spheres, and especially that Soviet and Russian new-thinking diplomacy will be fully reflected in the Asia-Pacific region, including their relations with Japan, I intend to provide all appropriate assistance for these countries' efforts to become constructive partners, grounded in market-oriented economies and democracy, for the new global order.
It is anomalous in this time of historic change that Japan and the Soviet Union have yet to conclude a peace treaty. Yet the time is finally growing ripe for resolving the Northern Territories issue and concluding a peace treaty. It is essential at this juncture that Japan and the Soviet Union and the Russian Republic make greater good-faith efforts for the resolution of this issue.
Freedom and market economies have emerged victorious, but we must not forget that, at the same time, distortions have arisen with the pursuit of freedom and prosperity within the market economies themselves. In Japan, we experienced the so-called bubble phenomena including extraordinarily sharp increases in land and stock prices, and there is now the danger that the sense of national solidarity and social stability with 90 percent of the people considering themselves middle-class could be torn asunder if those people who earn their livings by the sweat of their brows feel left behind.
Likewise, now that Japan's economic development has come this far, it is essential that the government shift its orientation to pay more attention to consumers, to Japanese life, and to ordinary investors.
In this sense, I believe it is imperative that politics not neglect its duty to create a fair society.
(Achieving Political Reform)
The times cry out for political reform, and Former Prime Minister Kaifu made a valiant effort to achieve reform. Along with paying my deepest respects to his efforts, I am determined to respect his wishes and to make a sincere effort to achieve political reform.
How can we change things so that politics and elections do not cost so much? How can we make the flow of money more transparent? And what should we do with the election districts? Building upon the proposals the government submitted to the last Session of the Diet and with them as our working draft, I hope the multipartisan council will pursue this discussion. Also wanting to respond to the fervent demands that the disparities in voting power be alleviated, I am hoping that we can reach specific conclusions on reform in about a year or so.
In reference to the so-called Recruit affair it was a mistake on my part that caused so much trouble for so many people. This is something that I feel remorse about as a politician, and I fully intend to exercise full diligence in all future activities.
Relations with the United States are the cornerstone of Japanese foreign policy. Both Japan and the United States share the same basic values, and we have a strong and friendly relationship grounded upon the Japan-U.S. security arrangements and our close interdependence.
In addition to working to further strengthen this relationship of friendship and cooperation, including promoting better economic relations and greater mutual understanding, it is essential that the two countries recognize their shared responsibilities for world peace and prosperity and cooperate on a global scale. Realizing this, I intend to further strengthen Japan-U.S. cooperative relations for the 21st century.
I will continue to work for the effective operation of the Japan-U.S. security arrangements and the enhancement of their credibility. On Japan's own defense efforts, it goes without saying that, under our peace Constitution, I will work to improve a moderate defense capability adhering to the basic principles of being dedicated to an exclusively defensive posture and not becoming a military power such as might threaten other countries.
Mindful of the diversity of the Asia-Pacific region, I intend not only to be active on the economic front but also to broaden the opportunities for political dialogue and to play a vigorous political role. In line with this approach and along with promoting open cooperation through the ministerial-level meeting on Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and other fora, I intend to develop wide-ranging and vigorous foreign policy initiatives in, for example, cooperating for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, supporting China's policies of political and economic reform and openness, further strengthening our relations with the ASEAN countries, and cooperating for peace and prosperity throughout Indochina once peace has been achieved in Cambodia.
In line with the historic Japan-EC Joint Declaration issued recently, I intend to strengthen our relations with the European countries comprehensively and across the board, not only in the economic field but in a wide range of fields including the political and the cultural.
Efforts are now being made by the countries concerned for peace in the Middle East. Japan also intends to take part in and to support these international efforts.
Along with welcoming the recent moves by the United State sand the Soviet Union to effect substantial reductions in their nuclear arsenals, Japan will continue to play a leading role in the United Nations and other fora in the field of arms control and disarmament and to make further efforts for greater transparency and self-restraint in the transfer of conventional weapons and for the improvement and strengthening of international frameworks for the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles.
Along with seeking to use our economic capabilities and technological prowess actively to contribute to the development of the world economy, we will also work through broad-ranging industrial and other economic exchanges in the international economic arena to further harmonize the Japanese economy with the international community.
The Uruguay Round negotiations are extremely significant negotiations aimed at sustaining and further developing the multi-lateral free trading system for the 21st century, thereby stemming the tide of protectionism and closed regionalism. These negotiations are now in their final stages, and, together with the other major countries, Japan is resolved to work to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion by the end of the year. While agriculture is an area in which all countries face difficult problems, as for rice, I intend to make the utmost efforts for a solution based upon mutual cooperation under our basic policy.
In addition to these issues, the international community is also faced with a host of other-pressing issues common to all humankind, including the protection of the global environment, support for the developing countries, drugs, terrorism, and refugees. Japan will draw upon its full experience and expertise in dealing head-on with these issues.
(Making Japan a Great Place to Live)
I would like to work to create the kind of society in which every person is able to enjoy the kind of life he or she wants to and feels truly well off. Looking ahead to the 21st century, I thus intend to work to enhance the social capital with particular emphasis on housing and other amenities in both the urban centers and the outlying areas and to foster quality communities and to strive to make Japan a tangibly great place to live - a country with vigor and caring that we can be proud of as a true leader not only in income terms but also in terms of social accumulation, aesthetic appeal, and more.
(Economic Policy Management)
It is the economy that underlies this effort to make Japan a great place to live. Yet the Japanese economy's rate of growth is gradually slowing, as seen in the decline in housing construction and other problems. Seeking to induce sustained economic expansion led by domestic demand and grounded in price stability, the government intends, mindful of domestic and international economic trends, to embark upon suitable and flexible economic management. And through this economic management, we intend, along with striving for stable employment and self-sustaining economic growth including fair and free competition, to work to forge harmonious external economic relations while closely watching our external imbalances.
(Unzen and Other Disaster Relief)
The eruption at Unzen, the many typhoons, and other events have inflicted great damage nationwide this year. Along with expressing my sincerest condolences to the disaster fatalities and their families, I would like to extend my sympathies to everyone who has suffered so much. Joining with the local authorities to support the resumption of normal living and the rebuilding of businesses in the wake of the Unzen disaster, the government will continue to do its utmost for disaster prevention, economic recovery, and the revitalization of the affected areas after the danger is past. On typhoon disaster assistance, we will work for the relief of hard-hit agricultural, forestry, and fishery operations and the speedy restoration of dam-aged facilities. Creating a land resilient in the face of such natural disasters and promoting balanced national development is another important aspect of making Japan a great place to live.
(Promoting Administrative and Fiscal Reform)
It is forecast that the total value of Japanese national bond issues outstanding will reach about \168 trillion by the end of fiscal 1991, in addition to which the economic factors that had provided enhanced tax revenues have begun to change such that tax revenues are currently sluggish, meaning that Japan's fiscal outlook is bleak indeed. Its basic policies being those of not wanting to bequeath massive indebtedness to future generations and never again issuing deficit-financing bonds, the government must work to create a fiscal structure in which the level of debt outstanding does not in crease. Accordingly, I intend to thoroughly review our systems and expenditures with renewed determination in drawing up future budgets.
Along with respecting the reports of the Provisional Council for the Promotion of Administrative Reform to the utmost and making every effort for empowering local governments, alleviating excessive concentration, and easing regulations, I will promote administrative and fiscal reform at the national and local levels.
(Problems in Securities and Finance)
The recent problems involving the securities and financial industries have considerably eroded domestic and international trust in the Japanese securities market and financial industries, and I find them most deplorable.
Although we have already moved to amend the Securities Exchange Law to provide a prohibition against loss compensation and to institute other reforms and have moved to implement a response including comprehensive inspections of the internal controls at financial institutions, I am determined to move ahead with overall policies, including legislative measures, fully respecting the Provisional Council for the Promotion of Administrative Reform's reports and the Diet resolutions.
This, then, has been a summary of some of my policies. We are less than 10 years from the 21st century, and I intend to devote all of my energies to the task of government so that Japan can attain an honored place in the international community and be a country of quiet dignity that its people can be proud of.
In this T ask the understanding and support of all of the people and their representatives in the Diet.
(2) Policy Speech by Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa to the 123rd Session of the National Diet
(January 24, 1992)
As we start this year 1992, Japan faces the need to respond appropriately to the tumultuous international situation as well as to deal with a host of domestic issues.
Thus it was that I welcomed President Bush of the United States to Japan at the beginning of the year and that I myself visited the Republic of Korea as my first overseas trip for talks with President Roh. In the talks with the United States, we agreed that it is imperative that the United States continue to play a leadership role in the building of the international order and that Japan has a shared responsibility to cooperate fully with this effort. With the Republic of Korea, we agreed that we should cooperate to resolve the issues facing the Asia-Pacific region and all the world from the perspective of Japan-ROK relations in the Asian and global context.
In my discussions with these two Presidents, I was very much aware of how fervently these leaders and their people desire world peace as well as of their high expectations of Japan and our grave responsibilities, and I am determined anew to devote my every effort to the business of government.
We are now at a crucial domestic and international juncture, and I find it most regrettable that a fellow Diet member and former Minister of State has been arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes. The authorities are pursuing their investigation into this incident, and I would like to proffer my profound apologies to the people that such an incident has even taken place.
We have so many issues that we must deal with for the future, and I am determined to make every effort to establish a strong framework of political ethics as well as to achieve political reform so that politics does not languish because of such incidents. I am therefore asking for the understanding and cooperation of all parties in the Diet as well as of the people at large.
(Japan's Role in Building a New Order for Peace)
World history is today on the verge of reshaping the global structures that had prevailed since the end of World War II. The Cold War structures dividing the world into two camps have been laid to rest, the Soviet Union has been disbanded, and rapid progress is being made toward alleviating the South-North confrontation on the Korean Peninsula. In Europe, the great historic work of integration is going forward steadily, and the moves for peace are taking shape in the Middle East and Cambodia.
As the order backed by ideological conflict and nuclear stand-off collapsed, however, the world entered a time of increasing uncertainty and anxiety with heightened fears of ethnic strife and nuclear proliferation. Likewise, there has also been a burgeoning of critical issues demanding the world's cooperative attention, including global environmental deterioration, refugees and illicit narcotics, population pressures and terrorism, and many more.
Although it is thus impossible yet to discern the shape of the new order to come, it seems clear that the world is moving in the direction of answering the prayers of all mankind for peace. Thus it was that I characterized this post-Cold War era as "the start of a time of building a new order for global peace" in my Policy Speech to this Diet last November. It is imperative that we consolidate the tide of history and succeed in creating an international order for peace befitting the new age and opening the way for happiness and prosperity for mankind and a brighter future for the world. With each of our countries accepting responsibilities commensurate with its circumstances and strengths, it is essential that we join together in dealing with these issues before us.
The whole world is today watching to see what role Japan will play and what responsibilities Japan will fulfill in light of the influence its considerable economic strength gives it. This year 1992 is truly a year in which Japan's mettle will be tested. It is essential that we bring our collective wisdom to bear in taking an active, independent, and creative part in building the new order for peace and in proving ourselves worthy of this grand historic mission.
In promoting the creation of a new order for global peace, I would count peace, freedom, and prosperity among those goals that we should pursue together with the rest of humanity. For it is only when these goals are pursued as an integrated whole that respect for the individual is maintained and that true human values are guaranteed. It is in line with this basic awareness that I have postulated contributing to the international community and making Japan a great place to live as the two ways in which Japan should fulfill its global and domestic responsibilities.
(Japan's Contribution to the International Community)
Peace is basic to the new international order.
The United Nations has an increasingly important role to play in the post-Cold War international community. Japan, which has long made the United Nations a central focus of its foreign policy efforts, should therefore respond to international expectations by striving to revitalize the United Nations by, for example, effecting U.N. fiscal and administrative reform and establishing its conflict-prevention system, as well as by playing a political role as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the peaceful resolution of a range of regional issues. In that sense too, I hope, with the permission of the Diet, to attend the Summit Meeting of the United Nations Security Council at the end of this month and to discuss these issues in person with the heads of state or government of the Security Council. At the same time, I hope that the so-called PKO bill will, along with the Bill to Amend the Law Concerning the Dispatch of Japan Disaster Relief Teams to enable Self-Defense Force personnel to take part in Japan Disaster Relief Teams, be passed by this Session of the Diet as soon as possible to enable Japan to make a full personnel contribution to United Nations peace-keeping and other operations.
While major progress has been made in arms control and disarmament for peace, concern has also been expressed over the issues of nuclear controls and nuclear proliferation as a result of the Soviet Union's break-up. Devoutly hoping for the ultimate elimination of all nuclear weapons, Japan is cooperating with the other countries concerned in making a vigorous effort to promote international efforts for nuclear disarmament and the conclusion of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by the end of the year. In addition, we are also making a determined effort to prevent the proliferation of atomic, biological, and chemical weapons as well as of missiles. The United Nations Register of International Transfers of Conventional Arms established last year at the initiative of Japan and other nations is a major breakthrough in making international transfers of such arms more transparent and in strengthening the incentives for self-restraint, and Japan will continue to work for the system's effective operation.
Our security arrangements with the United States provide an indispensable framework for peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, and Japan will continue to firmly maintain these arrangements.
In keeping with our peace Constitution and the basic principles of being devoted to an exclusively defensive posture and not becoming a military power such as might threaten other countries, Japan will continue to work to build a moderate defense capability with secure civilian control, adhering to the three non-nuclear principles. The current Mid-Term Defense Program was decided in late 1990, but there have been major changes in the international situation even since then, as shown by the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Closely monitoring these changes, the government will, in advance, begin the necessary consideration to revise this Mid-Term Defense Program.
True peace is more than the simple absence of war. Rather, it must be a condition promising human happiness. What I have called the quest for a new order for global peace is therefore an effort to create an international society of respect for peace and democracy in which the people enjoy prosperity based upon market principles. In this sense, it is extremely important to the broader acceptance of these values within the international community and as the foundation for this new international order that the former Soviet Union, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and even many of the developing countries are promoting reforms in this direction. Japan intends to play an appropriate support role for these countries. This will also be a consideration in our economic cooperation. At the same time, we intend to promote technical cooperation involving the transfer of that economic and other know-how that Japan has learned from the other industrialized countries or developed on its own.
The world economy - the driving force for prosperity - continues to face a number of problems. Yet as one of the countries that has benefited most from global prosperity, Japan will actively mobilize its economic, technological, and other abilities and work to further harmonize the Japanese economic structure with the rest of the world economy so as to contribute to international prosperity and growth.
Japan will therefore seek to further promote imports with a close eye on our current account balance and other trends and will work to encourage international exchanges in a wide range of investment and industrial sectors and to create harmonious external economic relations by, for example, facilitating the entry of foreign-capital companies and foreign products in the Japanese market.
The early and successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round negotiations is an important task to sustain and strengthen the multi-lateral free trading system, thereby maintaining the prosperity of the world. Director-General Dunkel tabled his proposal at the end of last year, and the negotiations are in their final stage. Japan is resolved to continue to work, together with the other major countries, to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion. While agriculture is an area in which all countries face difficult problems, as for rice, I intend to make the utmost efforts for a solution based upon mutual cooperation under our basic policy.
Wanting to ensure that the shift to world peace continues for generations untold, we must also seek to use the resulting peace dividend for the good of all of humanity, especially those countries of the South beset with famine, poverty, disease, and other ills. Supporting the bootstrap efforts of the developing countries with enhanced official development assistance, Japan will continue to work to narrow the disparities between North and South.
At the same time, we must make a serious effort to deal with the shared concerns of all mankind, including the global environment, refugees and illicit narcotics, and population pressures and terrorism. Japan will draw upon its accumulated skills and experience to playa positive role in the United Nations and other international fora.
The degradation of the global environment is especially important as it threatens the very survival of our species. It is thus imperative that we seek to devise socio-economic structures for sustainable development compatible with our environmental and resource constraints. Accordingly, Japan will take an active initiative, in cooperation with the other countries concerned, for the success of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development - the so-called Earth Summit - to be held this June.
We will also work vigorously on cultural exchanges and education to promote mutual understanding and on promoting science and technology and international cooperation to give us a better understanding of space and of the earth itself.
Japan-U.S. relations are the cornerstone of Japanese foreign policy. It would be no exaggeration to say that Japan could not have achieved its postwar prosperity had it not been for the good-hearted support of the United States. The United States has also made great sacrifices to preserve the postwar peace. Yet today the United States faces some problems of its own, and it behooves Japan to make every effort to cooperate with the United States as it works to overcome these problems. Having Japan and the United States join hands and fulfill their shared global responsibilities for the creation of a new order for global peace - that to me is the real global partnership between our two countries.
It was with this in mind that I discussed these issues with President Bush recently and that we announced our results in the Tokyo Declaration and the Global Partnership Plan of Action. Sharing the same fundamental values, Japan and the United States have developed a closely interdependent relationship grounded in our security arrangements. With this strong relationship, we were able to reach agreement on cooperation for world peace and prosperity and on joint efforts in a wide range of fields of concern to all mankind, including the global environment. I also intend to further strengthen the friendly and cooperative relations between our two countries in the economic and other fields through shared efforts by both sides. It goes without saying that enhancing the mutual understanding between us is critical to sustaining and promoting this cooperative relationship.
It is important in promoting peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region to take full advantage of the region's diversity and economic dynamism. Cooperating closely with the countries of the region, Japan will work to play an active role economically and politically in the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with the Dialogue Partners, the Ministerial Meeting for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, and other international cooperation fora.
In playing this role, it is important that Japan have a good grasp of its history. At certain moments in our history, the people of the Asia-Pacific region endured unbearable suffering and sorrow as a result of Japanese actions. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate my heartfelt remorse and regrets that this happened. Unflinchingly facing this historic reality, it is essential that we teach history correctly, nurture a sense of admonition to never repeat these misdeeds, and do our part as a responsible member of the international community.
On the Korean Peninsula, new moves are afoot for the relaxation of tensions there, including major progress on making the Peninsula nuclear-free. Strengthening our friendly and cooperative relations with the Republic of Korea is basic to Japanese policy toward the Korean Peninsula. During my recent visit to Korea, we found ourselves in agreement on the need for promoting better mutual understanding and broader-based exchanges between our two peoples and working to harmoniously resolve the economic issues through candid discussions so as to flesh out our forward-looking cooperation for the 21st century. Maintaining close liaison with the other countries concerned, Japan intends to continue to negotiate with North Korea for the normalization of our diplomatic relations in such a way as will contribute to peace and stability on the Peninsula.
In Cambodia, the international community's joint efforts are embarked upon a path- breaking experiment for peace and reconstruction. Japan intends to continue to cooperate for peace and prosperity in all of Indochina, and we would like to host an international conference in Japan sometime this year on the rehabilitation of Cambodia. This year marking the 20th anniversary of normalization in our relations with China, as well as supporting the policies of reform and openness in both the political and the economic spheres, we hope through uninterrupted dialogue to promote further Chinese coordination with the rest of the international community. We will also work to further strengthen our relations with the ASEAN countries, the countries of South Asia, and the Oceanic countries.
In thinking about the new international order in the post-Cold War era, it is clear that events in the former Soviet Union will have a major impact upon how things finally turn out.
Japan hopes that these independent states will promote reform in both their domestic and foreign policies as well as faithfully carrying out their responsibilities under treaties and other international agreements, maintaining firm central command over their nuclear weapons, assuming the former Soviet Union's external debt obligations, and more. Japan intends to cooperate with the rest of the international community in providing all appropriate support for these right-minded reform efforts.
Japan wants to build new relations with the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. On the relations with the Russian Federation, our next-door neighbor, we very much hope that the Northern Territories issue can be resolved and a peace treaty concluded as soon as possible to effect fundamental improvements in Japan-Russia relations on the basis of law and justice.
Like the United States, the nations of Europe are also important friends sharing the same basic values as Japan. This year is a historic year for Europe, marking as it does the completion of EC market integration and the laying of the foundations for greater political as well as economic and monetary union in the future. Thus it was that Japan issued the Japan-EC Joint Declaration last July with the EC, which is increasingly central to Europe. I intend to promote comprehensive cooperation between us in keeping with the spirit of that Joint Declaration.
New developments are evident in the quest to resolve the Middle East peace problems between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Japan intends to take part in international efforts for true stability in the Middle East following the Gulf Crisis, including the multilateral conference to be held soon to seek solutions to the various problems in the region, and to support these efforts.
(Progress in Making Japan a Great Place to Live)
Japan will become a truly aged society in the 21st century. I believe that those of us who are alive today thus have a duty to improve the social infrastructure as much as we can now while we still have the reserves of energy to do so. At the same time, we must shift from a producer-oriented society to one with the priority on consumers and ordinary citizens and from an emphasis on efficiency to fuller consideration of fairness.
I would thus like to proclaim making Japan a great place to live as my top priority domestic policy goal in responding to these issues. What I mean by a great place to live is a society in which each and every person feels comfortably affluent in his or her everyday life, a society in which people can live according to diverse values, and a society in which effort is justly rewarded. This is the kind of society that I want to see Japan become.
The great place to live that I envision is:
First, a society in which the full provision of housing and other people-oriented social overhead capital makes it possible to protect the environment and to create safe, comfortable, and quality living conditions.
Second, a society in which the shortening of working and commuting hours make it possible for the individual to fully utilize his or her free time and vacations in the pursuit of self-fulfillment.
Third, a society in which older people and handicapped people have fuller employment and other social opportunities and are able to take their rightful place in society and to live rewarding and anxiety-free lives
Fourth, a society in which men and women alike can seek fulfillment in the home and at work. Although it is now accepted that women should be full participants in all phases of society, we still need to do more to improve the conditions enabling them to use their abilities and experience to fullest advantage.
Fifth, a society in which efforts are made to promote balanced national development and people are able to enjoy the benefits of comfortable living, modern transportation and communications networks, and more no matter where they live.
And sixth , a society in which there is widespread education emphasizing creativity and international sensibilities, the people identify with sports and the arts, and there is a flowering of rich individuality and refined culture.
As you can see, I want to make this a society of vigor and caring spreading to all corners of Japanese life. In this connection, I have recently asked the Economic Council to draw up a new five-year economic plan including ways to make Japan a great place to live, and I am hoping for a report from them sometime this summer.
(Improving the Social Overhead Capital and Living Conditions)
If the people are to enjoy comfortable living, it is important that we make a systematic effort to improve our sewer systems, environ-mental hygiene, urban parks, and the rest of the social overhead capital. Thus it was that all due heed has been paid to areas that have a direct impact improving the quality of Japanese life in the five-year program drawn up for housing, sewer systems, and six other sectors last year in line with the Basic Plan for Public Investment. The draft budget for fiscal 1992 also puts a high priority on social overhead capital enhancement in areas affecting Japanese life.
At the same time, I want to work to make Japan an environmentally responsible society, including the creation of systems to generate less waste and to recycle more of it, as well as living conditions in which people can relax under a clear blue sky with pure-water streams rippling through verdant greenery.
(Land and Housing Issues)
Both to ensure higher-quality housing standards and to preserve the sense of social justice, it is imperative that we demolish the myth of ever-higher land prices and ensure that land prices never again skyrocket. While there are already signs of lower land prices in Tokyo, Osaka, and elsewhere as a result of enhanced land price monitoring, comprehensive reform of the land tax system, ceilings on real estate financing, and the other measures that have been instituted, the government intends to continue to work for comprehensive structural land policies on both the supply and the demand sides based upon the Comprehensive Land Policy Promotion Outline and in keeping with the Basic Land Act's principles. A special effort will be made to provide more residential land and housing in the major urban areas and to create quality housing stock and better living conditions.
While the financing ceiling has been lifted effective this year, we will continue to ask financial institutions to studiously avoid financing speculative land trading and are ready to reimpose these ceilings any time it looks as though land prices are starting to take off again.
(Shorter Working Hours and More Comfortable Workplaces)
Shorter working hours and more comfortable workplaces are national goals that we must achieve so as to make our working lives less stressful. By enhancing the provisions for further supporting independent labor-management efforts and otherwise, we hope to promote the full diffusion of the five-day week, the curtailment of overtime work, and other improvements. In this connection, we will submit the necessary legislation to this Session of the Diet to make it possible to give all civil service personnel a full two days off every week as soon as possible in fiscal 1992.
(Creating a Welfare Society in which People can Live Long ,Healthy, and Good-spirited Lives)
Japanese society is aging rapidly, and it is predicted that Japan will be a truly aged society in another 30 years with one in four of its people counted as elderly. Well has it been said that age brings wisdom in all things, and the wealth of experience and insights that these older people possess is an important resource for Japanese society. I thus want to create a society in which these older people can live out their years vigorously and anxiety-free while putting their talents to use for the good of society. As well as improving the employment and working climate and making other changes to encourage fuller participation in society, I will therefore make a determined effort to provide solid pension provisions and to ensure that these people can receive the health and other care that they need when they need it. It is especially important that we work to ensure that there are adequate numbers of nurses, welfare institution workers, home-care aides, and other people expected to be in short supply, and I intend to undertake a comprehensive range of measures here including improving employment conditions, strengthening educational programs, and more.
With the declining birth rate and the greater social role assumed by women, major changes are also taking place in the conditions affecting those children who will lead Japan in the future. I will thus continue to work to create a climate in which children are born and grow up in robust health.
This year marks the final year of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, and I intend to implement carefully tailored policies to enable people with disabilities to live in comfort at home and in society at large in line with the principles of full participation and equality.
I will also work for a society in which women can work alongside men on an equal footing in all fields, and I will vigorously promote policies to improve the status of women in line with the New National Plan of Action Toward the Year 2000.
(Balanced National Development and Revitalized Local Communities)
Seeking to rectify the over-concentration in Tokyo and to promote balanced, multipolar national development, we will consider moving national government offices and even the capital itself and will also promote the relocation of urban and industrial facilities in outlying areas with a special effort beginning in fiscal 1992 to upgrade those outlying cities that should be regional centers and residential magnets and to promote the relocation of industrial facilities so as to accelerate self-sustaining development outside of the major conurbations. At the same time, I will work to improve the main high-speed transportation network in the construction of a comfortable transport system, to improve high-speed information and telecommunications networks integrated into local life, to systematically upgrade the network of highways and other roads, and to make other improvements so as to facilitate the nationwide flow of people, products, and information in what might be called a national network.
Along with promoting the delegation of power from the state to the local authorities to promote local community development grounded in local creativity, I will further support the self-initiated and independent efforts sparked by furusato creation and will encourage the development of communities that the local residents can be proud of. I will also continue to work vigorously for Hokkaido's overall growth and for development of Okinawa, now in its 20th year as part of Japan again.
(Rural Villages of Hope and Pride)
Agricultural, forestry, and fishing villages play a crucial role in providing stable food supplies on an uninterrupted basis day in and day out. At the same time, the agricultural, mountain, and fishing villages across the country that are our spiritual home also function importantly to provide relaxed living and leisurely interludes sustained by their natural beauty and Japan's traditional culture. Yet these same crucial farms and farming villages are now beset by a lack of successors, aging populations, international competition, and other difficulties. I thus believe it is especially important that we respond to this situation by improving the basic conditions of rural life so that Japanese farmers can revive production, work at farming as an attractive source of pride, and settle down in rural communities. Accordingly and in line with the medium-and long-term socio-economic outlook, I will work to implement food, agricultural, and farm policies suited to the 21st century. With reference to forestry and fishing, I will work to promote our forests as repositories of verdant green and pure water for land and environmental conservation and our fishery operations tapping the rich bounty of the seas.
(Promoting Education, Culture and Tradition, Sports, Learning and Science and Technology)
Education, the arts, and science and technology underpin all aspects of national and social development.
In formal education, I will work for schools that bring out each student's individuality and creativity and that foster robust and good-hearted citizens with a firm awareness of their Japanese heritage and able to contribute to the international community. Along with improving the provisions for continuing education, I will also promote sports and the arts.
It is also necessary to promote imaginative and leading-edge scientific research and technological developments to enhance the total store of human knowledge and to play our due international role. Along with radically improving the educational and research facilities at institutions of higher learning, upgrading the foundations for research and development, and further promoting exchanges of researchers and other international cooperation, I will also promote the development and utilization of space, the seas, nuclear power, and other frontier areas.
(Administration Oriented to the Interests of Consumers and Ordinary Investors)
Along with responding sternly to violations of the Antimonopoly Act, I will also seek to make the Act's enforcement more transparent so as to maintain and promote free and fair market competition.
In reference to the securities and financial problems, the Securities Exchange Act has already been amended to prohibit compensation for trading losses and the authorities have responded with a comprehensive review of the internal checks at financial institutions and other policies. Along with promoting all appropriate competition in the securities and financial markets in the interests of people using these markets, I will submit the necessary legislation to this Session of the Diet and take other measures to prevent any recurrence of these problems and to restore confidence in the markets, and I am determined to deal with this issue with a comprehensive mix of legislative and administrative tools.
I will also promote comprehensive consumer administration, including consumer projection and redress, to ensure that the people can have a wealth of safe consumption opportunities.
At the same time, I will seek to streamline the regulations governing administrative procedures and otherwise work to ensure that administration is fair, transparent, and trusted.
(Natural Disasters and Public Safety Policies)
Last year was a year of numerous natural disasters for Japan, including the eruption of Mt. Fugen and the many typhoons that visited Japan. As well as expressing my condolences to those who died and their bereaved families, I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to those who lost their homes and who saw their crops destroyed.
Along with making every effort for disaster victim relief, we are now conducting the necessary surveys and studies preparatory to disaster-proofing and revitalizing the area affected lay the eruption of Mt. Fugen. I intend to work on disaster prevention and to make Japan a great place to live resistant to the ravages of nature.
There has recently been greater concern for public safety with the frequent occurrence of region-wide violent crime, the threat that organized crime poses to ordinary citizens, widespread drug abuse, and other problems. Recognizing that ensuring public safety is the very basis of any law-abiding society, I intend to continue to make every effort to ensure that the people can live their lives in assured safety. Likewise, I will also work for traffic safety in light of the rapid rate of traffic fatalities.
(Economic and Fiscal Policy Management)
It will be impossible for Japan to contribute to the building of a new order for global peace and to become a truly great place to live unless the economy continues to develop soundly. The government will thus continue to work for sustained and inflation-free growth centering on domestic demand.
As seen in the decline in housing investment, the Japanese economy is currently in a slower-growth phase. It is thus imperative that we manage the economy with all due heed to domestic demand and other aspects so that this situation does not generate a recessionary mood among companies and consumers.
In drawing up the draft budget for fiscal 1992, given the difficult straits imposed by the shortfall in tax revenues and other conditions, along with thoroughly reviewing expenditures, we have sought to procure adequate resources by issuing more construction bonds and taking the necessary measures in the tax system and have allocated funding for effective use in priority areas with all due heed to the economy. Referring especially to public works investment, we are working for a determined and dramatic increase in the General Account, in the Fiscal Investment and Loan Program, and in the operations independently undertaken by local governments focused on areas that impact everyday life. Along with lowering the official discount rate and instituting other measures, these policies will contribute fully to enabling Japan to attain sustained and inflation-free growth centered on domestic demand. It is expected that the total value of government bonds out-standing will be approximately \174 trillion by the end of fiscal 1992, and our fiscal situation remains structurally difficult. In line with the basic policy of not bequeathing massive indebtedness to future generations and not again issuing special deficit-financing bonds, we must continue to work to create a fiscal structure in which the value of government bonds outstanding does not continue to increase and with which we can maintain Japan's social and economic vitality even with an aged population and can respond appropriately to the various demands at home and overseas, including the need for a greater international contribution. We will also seek to promote the smooth management of local government finances.
As well as respecting the recommendations of the Provisional Council on Administrative and Fiscal Reform to the utmost and working for deregulation and other streamlining, we will continue to promote administrative and fiscal reform at both the national and the local levels.
Price trends have been basically stable recently. Closely monitoring oil prices, exchange rates, domestic supply and demand trends, and other factors, we will make every effort for price stability. In addition, we will also continue to work to reduce and eliminate the disparity between domestic and international prices. Along with promoting policies to ensure that smaller companies and communities have stable access to the people they need, we will also work in the employment area to beef-up employment policies for disabled people, to vigorously promote vocational training programs, and more.
Small business is a fount of vitality for the Japanese economy. Seeking to foster small businesses with the creativity and vitality enabling them to respond flexibly to difficult circumstances, we will work to enhance and strengthen small business policies, including support for creative business ventures and incentives for traditional craft industries.
As well as promoting a shift to a more environmentally sound supply and demand structure and promoting dramatic energy conservation across the board, we will also make every effort to ensure stable supplies of petroleum and will seek to reduce our oil-dependence by promoting the development and use of, inter alia, nuclear power and renewable energy resources. Working to ensure enhanced safety in the nuclear power industry, we will make every effort to promote siting and to foster public trust in this technology.
This, then, is the outlook at home and abroad and an explanation of some of my policies at the start of this 123rd Session of the Diet. As I mentioned at the outset, politics must have the trust of the people and must function to the fullest if Japan is to be able to respond flexibly to the rapid changes ahead and effect the right policies.
The first priority in political reform is that of working to establish a sound political ethic. The attitudes and behavior of individual Diet members aside, however, it remains true that there area number of systemic problems that must be resolved if public trust in politics is to be restored, and it is imperative that we create a system in which politics is not that expensive and elections are contested on the basis of policy differences. There is thus an urgent need for reforming political financing and the electoral system. At the same time, we must also make an effort to respond to demands that the disparities in a single vote's weight be reduced. Just as I sincerely hope that the multipartisan council's discussions will go into this in depth and will reach productive conclusions so that reforms can be implemented with the support of the people, so do I assure you that the government will do everything it can in this area.
I fully intend to make every possible effort to restore public trust in
politics through such reforms and hence to enable us to respond to the times in
the best interest of the Japanese people and all the world.
In this, I ask for the continued understanding and support of the Diet and the people of Japan.
(3) Foreign Policy Speech by Foreign Minister Michio Watanabe to the 123rd Session of the National Diet
(January 24, 1992)
At the start of this 123rd Session of the National Diet, I would like to set forth my views on Japan's basic foreign policy.
(Changes in the International Situation)
The international community is today experiencing great changes almost without parallel in world history. The communist regimes have collapsed in the nations of Central and Eastern Europe, and then in the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union no longer exists. The Cold War between East and West has ended, and many nations are working to introduce democracy and market economies. Meanwhile, the nations of Western Europe are stepping up their cooperative efforts toward integration.
In the Asia-Pacific region as well, relations among nations are overcoming differences in political systems and moving toward normalization, and economic reform and openness are proceeding based on market principles. Concrete steps have begun to be taken toward reconciliation and stability in Cambodia and on the Korean Peninsula.
In Africa and in Central America, regional conflicts that developed during the Cold War between East and West are rapidly coming to a close. Furthermore, discussion has begun among all of the parties to the confrontation and conflict between Israel and the Arab nations. Progress is also evident in the area of arms control. These developments herald brighter prospects for the future of the people of the world. At the same time, today's world is fraught with difficult problems. The former Soviet Union and the nations of Central and Eastern Europe are already facing such serious economic problems as unemployment, shortages of essential goods, and inflation. Stricken by ethnic, religious, and other confrontations and the struggle for power between old and the new regimes, the former Soviet Union is in an extremely unstable state. There is also great concern over the possibility that an extremely dangerous situation might develop due to the confusion in the former Soviet Union, the possible outflow of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction or related technologies, or an accident in a nuclear power plant similar to that at Chernobyl.
Seen from a global perspective, the future will continue to be dogged by the danger that confrontations stemming from ethnic and religious factors and disputes over economic and territorial interests may develop into regional military conflicts. Indeed, the collapse of former systems may, as seen in Yugoslavia, intensify confrontations and conflicts that so far had been restrained.
Furthermore, the world is faced with such impending issues as the global environment and other transnational problems, and poverty in the developing nations. And yet, many of the industrialized nations that ought to be taking the lead in contributing to a solution to this situation are increasingly seeing sluggish growth in their own economies and the emergence of deep-rooted protectionist pressures.
How is Japan to act in an international community undergoing such great and dramatic change? We must now answer this question for ourselves. And we must answer this question because Japan's response now has a large direct and indirect influence on the formation of the new world order.
Indeed, at the end of last year, the United Nations General Assembly elected Japan a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. We must fully recognize the expectations placed upon Japan by the overwhelming majority of the Member States of the United Nations in this election.
Almost half a century after its defeat in World War II, Japan has today become the second-largest economic power in the world. However, Japan's recovery and development after the war, achieved with the sagacity and efforts of the people and guided by the historic basic government policy of maintaining a market economy and free trade, was only possible because of the assistance and cooperation of the United States and other friends. When I think of this, it seems clear what Japan must do for the international community from now on. Specifically, I believe that, in the spirit of international cooperation, Japan must use its strengths, particularly its economic and technological capacities, diverse personnel efforts and wisdom to contribute to the building of a new order for global peace. With the increasing interdependence among the nations of the world, such a contribution is also essential to ensure Japan's own peace and prosperity.
It is indeed clear that it is important to develop a more Japanese foreign policy in order to advance international cooperation to build a new order for global peace. Realizing this, Japan will emphasize international cooperation for world peace, cooperate in solving regional conflicts around the world and establishing regional stability, and promote arms control and disarmament. At the same time, Japan will endeavor to solve transnational issues and to promote cultural as well as scientific and technological cooperation.
Furthermore, Japan must consider the universal principles of humanity; individual liberty, democracy, and fundamental human rights. Developing a foreign policy incorporating these values will, I believe, also be responding to the expectations of the international community. The international contributions that Japan makes should not be limited to financial cooperation, but must include the fullest possible personnel cooperation within the framework of the Constitution of Japan as reflects the spirit of the United Nations Charter. Indeed, by making wide-ranging international contributions in which Japanese personnel furnish their labor, Japan can realize the ideals of its peace Constitution, which states, "We desire to occupy an honored place in an international society striving for the preservation of peace, and the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all time from the earth."
Based on the spirit of the United Nations Charter and undertaking to protect the peace, United Nations Peace-keeping Operations are one example of the success of the United Nations over the years, with more than 80 nations of the world having participated in contributions for the international community through the hard work of their people. The so-called PKO bill being carried over for deliberation by this session of the Diet is an attempt to prepare a framework that will enable Japan to participate actively in such operations. With the understanding of the people, shall we not approve the bill in this session of the Diet and fulfill this facet of Japan's responsibility in the international community? Again, and from the same perspective, I ask that this session of the Diet approve the Bill to Amend the Law Concerning Dispatch of Japan Disaster Relief Teams.
(Arms Control and Disarmament)
Arms control and disarmament is an important issue for further assuring world peace in the post-Cold War era. Given this, it is a source of international pride that Japan, the only nation in the world to have experienced atomic bombing, sets the abolition of nuclear weapons as its ultimate goal and that the Government of Japan has established an extremely progressive policy of exercising restraint in the export of arms and arms-production-related equipment. As international concern focuses on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the issue of transfers of conventional arms, the international community thus has great expectations that Japan will play a leading role in this area. Proof of this can be seen in the strong international approval for the major role played by Japan last year in establishing the United Nations Register of International Transfers of Conventional Arms and for Japan's clear announcement, ahead of other nations, of its so-called four principles on ODA assuring that trends in military expenditures by recipient countries, trends in the development and production of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, and trends in the export and import of weapons will be considered in the implementation of our ODA.
Seizing the opportunities presented by the end of the Cold War, the Government of Japan intends to further contribute to international nuclear disarmament, to strengthen policies to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, and to play an even more active role against international transfers of conventional arms. With particular attention to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, Japan intends to make efforts to fundamentally strengthen the current safeguards arrangements and to do its utmost to achieve a conclusion to the negotiations on the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons this year.
The question of the development of nuclear weapons by North Korea - the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - is a grave situation threatening not only Japan but the peace of the Asia-Pacific region and all the world. Recognizing this, the Government of Japan has strongly demanded in the normalization negotiations with North Korea that North Korea conclude a Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency and promptly and unconditionally accept IAEA inspections. In the event that reprocessing facilities exist, the Government of Japan will continue to demand that they be eliminated. From this perspective, Japan highly appreciates President Bush's Initiative for Reducing Nuclear Weapons which made it possible to confirm the absence of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and President Roh Tae Woo's decision declaring that no nuclear weapons or related facilities will be stationed in the Republic of Korea. The signing of the Joint Declaration on Denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula by the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is another major step toward ensuring a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
Control of nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union is an issue having an extremely great impact for world peace and security. Japan intends to continue to vigorously demand that these nuclear weapons be placed under a firm central command, that, with the exception of the Russian Federation, the newly formed independent states promptly accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear states, and that the nuclear weapons existing in these states be removed or destroyed as soon as possible.
(Sustainable Growth of the World Economy)
With the international community experiencing great change, it is more important than ever to ensure sustainable growth without inflation in the world economy. Japan must play an active role in achieving this goal. Having recovered under the Bretton Woods Agreements from the postwar period to become the second-largest economic power in the world, Japan has a duty to play an active role in maintaining and strengthening the multilateral free trading system. Contributing to the success of the Uruguay Round negotiations is an important first step. These negotiations, which are extremely important for maintaining and strengthening the multilateral free trading system, have entered their final stages after the new development at the end of last year with the submission of the Dunkel plan. Should these negotiations end in failure, the negative impact on the global economy and on the Japanese economy would be immeasurable indeed. Japan intends to continue to exert every effort for their early and successful conclusion.
(Assistance to Developing Countries)
Under the free trading system, and with today's increasing interdependence, it is impossible for any one nation to prosper alone for very long. It is thus extremely important to endeavor to assist the developing countries. Japan is situated in the Asia-Pacific region, which includes a number of developing nations. Indeed, Japan itself has the experience of having learned skills and acquired knowledge from the Western industrialized nations, with whose support and cooperation it developed into a modern nation. All the more is it Japan's mission to assist developing nations as they progress in the international community.
Recognizing this, and despite Japan's current severe fiscal straits, the fiscal 1992 ODA budget to be considered in this Session of the Diet includes \952.2 billion appropriated from the General Account budget toward the achievement of the Fourth Medium-Term ODA Target.
It will be important to make every effort to use ODA to respond to new transnational issues such as the global environment, refugees, and illicit narcotics. Furthermore, as outlined in the Fourth Medium-Term ODA Target, Japan intends to emphasize not only social and economic infrastructure but also human resource development, as it strives to enhance the quality of its ODA, and continues to search for even more effective and efficient implementation modalities.
(Relations with the Other Industrialized Democracies)
In proceeding with the foreign policy outlined above, it is important that Japan strive for cooperation with the other industrialized democracies with which it shares the common values of freedom, democracy, and the market economy.
Close cooperation with the United States is the foundation of Japan's foreign policy. The firm and extensive cooperation between our nations, as underpinned by the Japan-U.S. security arrangements, ensures peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and is effective in enhancing international credibility of Japan's position of not becoming a major military power capable of threatening other nations. Despite reports of various points of friction and confrontation between Japan and the United States, we must therefore strive to strengthen our cooperative relations centered on the Japan-U.S. security arrangements.
During President Bush's recent visit to Japan, Japan and the United States announced the Tokyo Declaration and stated the indecision to fulfill their international and global responsibilities under the Japan-U.S. Global Partnership into the 21st century. This was a most welcome and timely achievement. It is only natural that Japan and the United States should cooperate to the fullest extent possible for the stable development of the world economy. As outlined in the Global Partnership Plan of Action, Japan has decided to take extensive steps, including further opening its markets, based on free trading principles and will strive to achieve steady implementation of these measures.
As with the United States, Japan shares common values with the nations of Western Europe and needs to further strengthen its relations with these nations. In particular, through their further progress toward market integration and economic and monetary union, as well as political union, the nation of the European Community are becoming ever more unified. Engaging in closer policy consultation and coordination with the EC nations, whose influence in the international community is growing, is an important pillar of Japanese foreign policy. It was with this in mind that Japan and the EC agreed upon the historically significant Japan-EC Joint Declaration last July. Based on this Declaration, Japan intends to pursue wide-ranging cooperation from a global perspective with the EC while strengthening its bilateral relations with each EC member state.
(Relations with Nations of the Asia-Pacific Region)
It is becoming more and more important in relations with the Republic of Korea, the ASEAN states, Australia, and other nations of the Asia-Pacific region for Japan to cooperate for mutual benefit and to think both in bilateral and in multilateral terms in its approach to political and economic issues and global issues relevant to regional stability and development. In addition to these bilateral ties, Japan's active participation in the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with the Dialogue Partners, the Ministerial Meeting for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, and other multilateral fora for cooperation is also important for heightening the mutual trust that exist between the nations of the Asia-Pacific region and Japan. Deep-rooted apprehension stemming from the past and from Japan's sizable presence remains in this region. With that in mind, Japan remains firmly determined never to become a military power such as would threaten its neighbors.
Concerning the Korean Peninsula, with a view to securing long-term stability in Northeast Asia, Japan intends to continue to maintain all due contact with the Republic of Korea, the United States, and the People's Republic of China, and advance an active foreign policy in both political and economic spheres. Prime Minister Miyazawa's recent visit to the Republic of Korea was carried out in keeping with this policy to further strengthen Japan-Korea bilateral relations.
While maintaining the foundation of friendly Japan-ROK relations, Japan will continue to negotiate in good faith in the normalization talks with North Korea so as to contribute to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
If we are to secure overall stability and developments in Southeast Asia, it is important to draw Indochina into the framework of dynamic economic development in the Asia-Pacific region. With this in mind, we must strive for the reconstruction and development of Cambodia and Vietnam. While actively cooperating with United Nations operations for rehabilitation and stability in Cambodia, Japan would like to host an international conference on rehabilitation in Cambodia in Japan sometime this year so that the Agreement on a Comprehensive Political Settlement of the Cambodia Conflict might prove effective.
It is also important for stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region that Japan, as an Asian friend of China, extend active cooperation for economic and political reform and openness in that nation with its population of over 1.1 billion. This year is the 20th anniversary of normalization of Japan-China relations. It is important that we take this opportunity to see that the bilateral relationship of cooperation between Japan and China contributes to stability in the Asia-Pacific region and world peace into the 21st century. With this in mind, I recently visited China and met with Chinese leaders, with whom I had a frank exchange of views not only on bilateral issues but also on such issues as arms control and disarmament, the situation in the region, and the global environment.
Japan will also work to provide assistance to and strengthen its relations with Mongolia and the South Asian nations which are proceeding with reforms based on democracy and the market economy. At the same time, Japan will further develop its cooperative relations with Australia and New Zealand.
(Relations with the Nations of the Former Soviet Union)
Averting internal confusion in the nations of the former Soviet Union, supporting their efforts for democratization and the introduction of market economies, and guiding them to success are major international political tasks. Recognizing this, I attended the ministerial-level meeting that opened in Washington on January 22 to coordinate international assistance, where I affirmed that Japan was prepared to play an appropriate role in helping these independent states overcome the problems that they faced.
In its relations with the Russian Federation, which bas succeeded to the external rights and obligations of the former Soviet Union, Japan wants to achieve an early settlement to the Northern Territories issue based on law and justice, conclude a peace treaty, and lay the foundation for the long-term development of Japan-Russia relations. The Government of Japan thus intends to make the utmost efforts to achieve its two policy objectives of settling the Northern Territories issue and promoting stable reform in Russia in the direction of democratization and the introduction of a market economy.
(Relations with Nations of Other Regions)
Although the nations of Central and Eastern Europe continue to face serious economic difficulties, they are making efforts to introduce democracy and market economies, and Japan will continue to extend positive assistance. Strengthening relations with the nations of the Middle East remains an important issue for Japan. Japan is thus seriously concerned about the prospects for long-term stability in the Middle East. With the permission of the Diet, I hope to personally attend the ministerial-level Organization Meeting for a Multilateral Conference on Regional Issues in the Middle East to be held in Moscow next week, where I will state Japan's thinking on this matter.
Many of the nations of Africa are struggling for democratization and economic structural adjustments, and Japan will support these efforts to the fullest extent possible. Japan has recently reestablished diplomatic relations with the Republic of South Africa and will further encourage South Africa to bring about the early establishment of a free and democratic system there.
Many nations of Latin America are proceeding with reforms based on democracy and market economies, and Japan will extend these reforms the fullest possible support. Japan welcomes the recent agreement for peace in El Salvador and intends to work for stability in Central America.
(Strengthening the United Nations)
The United Nations Charter was born of reflection on World War II and in search of enduring world peace, thus bringing into existence the United Nations. Yet confrontations between super-powers of differing ideologies have made it impossible for the United Nations to function as hoped. As a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and revolutionary changes in policy, however, the United Nations has returned to its origins and now seems to function more smoothly. Even though progress may have been made in disarmament between the superpowers and in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, regional conflicts have not, unfortunately, been eradicated. Refugees, terrorism, illicit narcotics, and global environmental pollution are but some of the many problems that the world must resolve. It is at this juncture that the importance of the United Nations is being reaffirmed and much is expected of it.
Recently elected a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Japan fully understands that it is now in a position to play a central role for international peace and security and will work to strengthen its foreign policy in the United Nations. Japan thus intends to promote the strengthening of the functions of the United Nations and to push for organizational reform so that the United Nations can respond to the new age.
The international community is also faced with such transnational issues as the global environment, refugees, illicit narcotics, and terrorism, and Japan must make every effort for their solution. The issue of the global environment in particular will be addressed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, scheduled to be held this June with the aim of adopting the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Earth Charter. The Government of Japan intends to draw upon Japan's experience and technology in anti-pollution measures and to play an active role in an international approach to this issue.
The existence of a reported 17 million-plus refugees throughout the world is a serious issue threatening the stability of the developing regions. In addressing the issue of refugees throughout the world, including promoting the return of Cambodian evacuees, the Government of Japan intends to play an active role in furthering international cooperation centered on such international organizations as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
(Culture and Science and Technology)
Promoting exchanges of culture and science and technology is another important aspect of our foreign policy for the future. Cultural exchanges deepen mutual understanding among the peoples of the world, foster trust, and contribute to the establishment of stable international relations. The Government of Japan intends to make an effort to expand long-term cultural exchanges. Japan will also cooperate actively for the protection of the world's cultural heritage and the preservation of traditional cultures. In the area of science and technology, it is important to accept more foreign researchers and steadily advance diverse international research projects.
As outlined above, the role that Japan must play in the international community is growing dramatically more important. If we are to respond aptly to the rapidly changing international situation and develop flexible foreign policy operations, we must strengthen the foreign policy support structure. I received the first report of the Provisional Council for the Promotion of Administrative Reform, and, with the continued support and understanding of the people, am determined to strengthen the structure for implementing Japan's foreign policy.
Japan must play a more extensive role than ever before in building a new world order. Understandably, the development of such a foreign policy will have a direct impact on domestic political affairs.
Thus I believe that the question of whether or not the people will recognize the need for Japan to fulfill this role and respond to our nation's position in the current international climate is really a question of whether or not the ruling and opposition parties can maintain non-partisan positions on foreign policy at this juncture.
I am determined to appeal to the people of Japan with an easy-to-understand and comprehensible foreign policy as I defend Japan's interests in this world in which we all must live together.
The way is near. It is said that earnest endeavor is bound to be rewarded with success, and I am determined to see this through. In this, I ask for the understanding and support of all of the people of Japan.
(4) Policy Speech by Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa to the 125th Session of the National Diet
(October 30, 1992)
At the start of this 125th Session of the National Diet, I would like to state my views and to seek the understanding and support of the people on some of the issues facing us.
I am most pleased to be able to report that Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress went to China on October 23 and returned home on October 28. It is highly significant that the Emperor visited China for the first time in the long history of relations between Japan and China on the 20th anniversary of the normalization of relations between Japan and China, itself an important time symbolic of our friendly bilateral relations. The warm welcome that Their Majesties received and the graciousness with which they responded to this welcome were truly impressive displays of the heartfelt rapport between our two peoples. It is such friendship and goodwill between our peoples that will surely lay the foundation for the future development of relations between Japan and China.
Following Their Majesties' China visit, I intend to work to further strengthen and develop friendly relations that have been cultivated between our two countries.
(Implementing Political Reform)
We are at a crossroads such as occurs only once every few centuries, and Japan and the rest of the world are being pressed to make unprecedented changes. Never before have expectations of politics been so high.
I am thus disappointed in the extreme that such questions as the issue of money in politics as seen in the so-called Tokyo Sagawa Kyubin scandal and the issue of how politicians should comport themselves should have erupted to spark public distrust of politics at this time. Sharply aware that the current public distrust of politics is much more severe than any we have seen before, I would like to express my humble apologies to the people, both as an individual politician and as one entrusted with the reins of national government. Public trust of politics is fundamental to parliamentary democracy. It would be a great tragedy for the future of Japan if we were to fail to dispel the public's doubts and to restore their faith in politics here and now.
The first key point in regaining the public's trust is for each and every person involved in politics to honestly recognize this public distrust and dissatisfaction, to reaffirm our principles, and to go about his or her everyday political activities with self-control and self-restraint. There have been accusations in this recent incident that political figures were involved with organized crime, and it goes without saying that political figures should not consort with people of that ilk.
Second, it is imperative that we never forget the democratic tenet of government's existing for the good of the people and that we constantly conduct ourselves such that there is never the least hint of suspicion that we are acting only in the interests of our parties or factions.
Third, if we are to keep situations such as the present one from recurring, it is essential that we thoroughly review our political system, including the political structure. I am unalterably resolved to work for far-reaching political reform to eliminate the root causes that have bred today's distrust of politics, including ensuring greater transparency of political funding and facilitating elections contested over policy issues and political activity that does not require vast sums of money.
The parties are now holding intense discussions in the Council on Political Reform on specific policy means to achieve political reform. To date, broad agreement has been reached between the government party and most opposition parties on a range of urgent reforms including the reapportionment of House of Representatives seats as well as strengthening the functioning of the Deliberative Council on Political Ethics, fuller disclosure for the assets of all Diet members and political action groups, and confiscation of illegal contributions. Seeking to effect reforms at the earliest possible date, I sincerely hope that these urgent reform measures will be enacted by this Session of the Diet as soon as possible as a first step. At the same time, I know that drastic political reform will be needed to respond to popular expectations. Thus I hope that the government and opposition parties will continue their deliberations on far-reaching reforms, including the questions of the elections system and political funding, and that we will be able to achieve popularly acceptable political reform as soon as possible. This administration also intends to make every effort to this end.
This process of political reform is bound to be painful for politicians, but I believe it will be impossible to govern the country with the popular trust and a popular mandate unless we are able to transcend that pain. Thus it is that I am asking for the continuing understanding and cooperation of all parties in this effort.
(Promoting the Package of Economic Measures)
If we are to lay socio-economic foundations able to respond flexibly to the changing times, it is imperative that we ensure the Japanese economy continues to develop soundly. Yet the economy is today in a prolonged slump and facing dire straits, with asset values falling. Accordingly, the administration has put together a package of economic measures totaling an unprecedented \10.7 trillion to ensure that this economic slump does not have further adverse effects on the economy.
As well as measures to stimulate domestic demand such as by expanding public investment, including the advance procurement of land for public works projects and the promotion of projects carried out solely with local funds, and to facilitate private-sector capital investment and support labor-saving and rationalization investment at small-and medium-sized businesses, this package also includes employment considerations and measures to facilitate imports. In addition and premised upon thorough-going efforts for rationalization by the financial and securities sectors, the package also includes vigorous efforts to be made to assure stability in the financial system and the invigoration of the securities market so as to rectify the problems engendered by the collapse of the so-called bubble economy and to consolidate the economic recovery.
Japanese history has been marked by a number of severe economic trials, and each time the people have managed to overcome their difficulties and to create an even-stronger economic structure. Yet there is still much social overhead capital that needs to be improved and much more that needs to be done to create a better quality of life; and the world is also looking to Japan to contribute responsibly to the international community. I believe that the Japanese economy has the potential to respond to these imperatives. I am confident that steadfastly undertaking the recent package of economic measures while avoiding a return to the bubble economy will stimulate the private sector and enable Japan to make a smooth transition to non-inflationary and sustained growth powered by domestic demand. Just as the Munich Summit this July noted that the coordination of economic and financial policies is a central element in our common strategy for stronger sustained world economic growth, this package of economic measures is also responsive to these international expectations and has been welcomed by the rest of the world.
While we have already begun to move ahead on the expansion of public works investments, the enhancement of financing by governmental financing institutions, and the other measures included in this package that could be readily implemented, a supplementary budget has been submitted to this Session of the National Diet to ensure the steady implementation of this package as well as to enable us to fully respect the recommendations of the National Personnel Authority and more. I very much hope this supplementary budget will be passed as soon as possible.
(Steadfast Progress on Improving the Quality of Japanese Life)
With the untiring efforts of the people, postwar Japan has developed into one of the world's leading economic powers. Nonetheless, there are still a number of areas where Japan lags behind the other industrialized countries, including working hours, housing, and the state of social overhead capital, and the quality of Japanese life is not necessarily commensurate with our capabilities. Seeking to change our thinking on economic growth and on how the benefits of this growth should be utilized, it is imperative that not only government but also corporate and individual attitudes and behavior shift to focus on the consumer. Thus it is that I have made improving the quality of Japanese life one of the priority issues for my Cabinet ever since I took office as Prime Minister. Recently, I have been made even more aware of the importance of achieving better quality of life as I visited housing complexes, welfare facilities, educational and cultural institutions, rural villages, and other communities and heard for myself the people's hopes for more-fulfilling and better-quality lives and their desire to be free of anxiety in their old age.
Of course, better quality of life cannot be achieved overnight, and this will require a long-term effort. Realizing that the Japanese demographics are shifting rapidly toward an older population and the labor force is not expected to grow as quickly in the future, whether or not we can achieve a better quality of life depends upon how much we are able to do now while the economy is still rich in potential. Realizing this, the five-year economic plan "Sharing a Better Quality of Life around the Globe" was recently drawn up providing long-term guidelines for our policy management. As well as setting specific targets from the consumer and user's perspective and enabling the people to see for themselves bow much progress has been made, this plan calls upon the government to band together in achieving its targets. Looking ahead to the 21st century, the plan calls for reducing the total number of hours worked to 1,800 per year, making it possible to purchase quality housing in the metropolitan areas for approximately five times the average wage-earner household's annual income, raising the sewerage diffusion rate to about 70 percent, establishing a day service center in every junior-high-school district or so, and more. This plan pays every heed to the need to improve the social overhead capital for enhancing our daily lives, to promote housing construction, and other aspects, and we intend to continue to work steadily to improve the quality of Japanese life.
In striving to improve the quality of Japanese life, of course, we must not forget to ensure that these efforts are compatible with the global community. With concern over global environmental issues on the increase, it is essential that we create sustainable socio-economic structures compatible with the environment. It is thus essential that the national and local governments, business, and each and every person work to resolve environmental problems across the spectrum. This administration intends to look at what it can do to orient and promote such efforts, including such improvements to the legal framework as drafting a basic law for the environment.
Likewise, it is impossible to achieve better quality life in the absence of public safety. While some progress is being made on protecting ordinary citizens from organized crime involvement in civil cases, organized crime remains a major threat to ordinary citizens. In addition, there are also a number of other anxiety-generating factors in everyday life, including the spread of pistols among the citizenry, violence as seen in extremist terrorism and guerrilla attacks, and the sharp increase in the number of traffic accidents. I intend to do everything possible to ensure that the people can live their lives in safety.
Achieving a better quality of life also demands sound government finances and that the government make a concerted effort to develop and promote compatible policies. Yet Japanese government finances are today facing difficult times, burdened as they are with massive public debt outstanding and with tax revenues down sharply. Thus I will also continue to work to reform fiscal situation, including thoroughly reviewing our various institutions and expenditures, inline with the principles of not again issuing deficit-financing government bonds and of seeking to create a fiscal structure in which the level of debt outstanding does not increase. Likewise, in seeking to realize the goal of administrative reform for a streamlined and effective administrative structure, I will respect the reports of the Provisional Council for the Promotion of Administrative Reform and other recommendations to the utmost and work vigorously to promote deregulation, decentralization, and other reforms. In addition and as well as conducting a wide-ranging review of the role of government, I also hope to eliminate the ill-effects of our vertically fragmented bureaucracy and to create an administrative structure that is truly responsive to popular needs and that expedites comprehensive policy deployment.
(Responding Actively for a New International Order for Peace)
With the break-up of the Soviet Union and the end of an era characterized by the great-power rivalry under Cold War structures, the global structure is now undergoing massive reshaping.
The thrust of history is surely flowing in the direction of peace, but the world is still seeking to identify the new order and, as seen in the worsening of ethnic, religious, and other conflicts, is suffering what might be called the pangs of the new international order aborning. If we are to create a new order of peace and to avoid being again plagued by the turbulence of chaos, it is imperative that all countries forge even more cooperative relations for the shared values of peace, freedom, and prosperity. I firmly believe that now more than ever postwar Japan, having adhered steadfastly to the principles of peace and having centered its diplomatic efforts on the United Nations, should play a role commensurate with its capabilities for the forging of an international order of peace.
The International Peace-keeping Cooperation Law passed by the last session of the Diet is one important step demonstrating this Japanese response to the whole world. Japan has already provided cooperation for supervising elections in Angola in September, and International Peace Cooperation Corps personnel are even now hard at work under the United Nations flag in Cambodia monitoring the cease-fire, supervising police officers, and repairing roads, bridges, and other infrastructure facilities to expedite that country's recovery. These activities by Japanese personnel are being warmly welcomed by the local citizenry, and there are great expectations for what they are doing. Seeing how well this is going has renewed by awareness of how important it is that Japan make a positive effort to contribute to international efforts for creating an international order of peace, not only financially but also in personnel terms and with technical cooperation drawing upon Japan's store of technology, know-how, and other intangible resources.
At the same time, it is necessary for the United Nations to reshape itself in response to the changes in the international situation so as to ensure world peace. I intend to strive, in close cooperation with other countries, to strengthen the functions of the United Nations, including enhanced trust and effectiveness for the Security Council, which is at the center of the United Nations role in maintaining world peace and security.
It is exceedingly important to ensuring future world peace and consolidating global prosperity that we make a vigorous effort to deal with global environmental issues, refugee issues, population pressures, AIDS, drugs, and other problems for which the whole world is devoutly seeking solutions as well as that we support economic independence for those developing countries now plagued by poverty and starvation. Now the world's largest aid-donor, Japan is expected to take the initiative in dealing with these difficult issues. As well as moving to create international frameworks for resolving these issues, I intend to enhance Japanese assistance and to work for the more effective, more efficient disbursement of Japanese development assistance taking full account of the recipient country's record in environmental protection, military spending trends, and other areas in line with Japan's Official Development Assistance Charter adopted recently so as to make it very clear to all what Japan's basic assistance policies are.
The GATT Uruguay Round is now in its final stage, and it is essential that we bring these negotiations to an early and successful conclusion to maintain and strengthen the free-trading system and to consolidate economic prosperity for all the world in the 21st century. Japan is resolved to continue to work, together with the other leading countries, to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion. While agriculture is an area in which all countries face difficult problems, I intend to make the utmost efforts for a solution based upon mutual cooperation under our basic policy.
With the collapse of the East-West conflict structure, the Asia-Pacific region is more important in the international community. This region's economic dynamism is an important locomotive force for the expansion of the world economy looking ahead to the 21st century, and it is no exaggeration to say that the region's stable development is crucial to future world peace. This is something that I stressed at the Munich Summit and that was, as a result, featured prominently in the Political Declaration. When it is realized that this region's dynamism was born of close interdependence premised upon diversity, it is clear how very important it is that the countries of this region promote further dialogue and cooperation intra-region-ally and that they forge cooperative relations open to extra-regional partners as well. As Japan moves to take part in the building of a new international order for peace, it is important that we develop new foreign policy initiatives consistent with our basic position as an Asian nation, and this in turn means that we must work to build closer relations not only with our immediate neighbors but with the rest of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region as well. While over half of Japanese development assistance goes to this region, we should not limit ourselves to financial assistance but should actively expand to promoting consultations and political dialogue to resolve the region's various disputes and conflicts. As I have said before, I am deeply remorseful about our past history and intend to make a determined effort to identify what else Japan should do for peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
With the many dizzying changes taking place in the international climate, an American presence will continue to be crucial to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, the close cooperative relations with the United States as seen in the Japan-U.S. security arrangements are a crucial prerequisite to Japan's playing an active role in this region.
Relations with the United States are the cornerstone of Japanese foreign policy, and I believe that Japan and the United States should cooperate in undertaking their shared global responsibilities for the creation of a new international order of peace based upon their shared values.
Moving for integration, Europe is bound to be increasingly important in the post-Cold War international community. Sharing as we do the same basic values and in keeping with the spirit of the Japan-EC Joint Declaration issued last year, Japan sees the EC as an important partner in the building of new international order and intends to strive for the further strengthening of relations with the EC not only in trade and industrial cooperation but also in political, cultural, and other aspects as well.
Japan has consistently contended that it is only when the territorial problem is resolved and Japan-Russia relations are normalized on the basis of law and justice that it will be possible to consider Russia as sharing the same values we do and as a true partner. This awareness was shared and supported by the participating countries at the Munich Summit. Thus I very much regretted that President Boris Yeltsin postponed his visit to Japan, all the more in that I had hoped his visit to Japan would deepen mutual understanding between Japan and Russia and mark the beginning of a new chapter in our relations. This administration intends to tenaciously and unwaveringly promote its Russia policy for the solution of the territorial issue and the conclusion of a Japan-Russia Peace Treaty. At the same time, support for democratization and the adoption of market economies in Russia and the other countries of the former Soviet Union and the Central and Eastern Europe is an important agenda for the preservation of world peace and prosperity. Indeed, this awareness is also shared by all of the member countries of the Tokyo Conference on Assistance to the NIS. Japan intends to cooperate with the rest of the international community to provide humanitarian assistance and to play an appropriate role in supporting these efforts for reform.
In the year since taking office as Prime Minister, I have made every effort for us to make an international contribution appropriate to the start of this era of creating a new international order of peace and to attain a better quality of life for the people looking ahead to the 21st century. Knowing how arduous the road ahead is, I am keenly aware of the responsibilities I have undertaken.
Whether or not Japan will develop into the kind of country of which our children can be proud will depend upon whether or not we are able to identify the demands of the present, to elucidate the directions in which we should move from a global perspective, and to make the utmost efforts to achieve our goals. This lesson is etched deeply in my heart as I continue to work across the national government spectrum.
It is inexcusable that national government should be grid locked by distrust of politics at this crucial juncture for our future, and the need to reassert political ethics and to implement political reforms is urgent. Just as we must work to restore the people's trust in politics as soon as possible, so must we work to create political structure in which each and every person's views and choices are accurately reflected in government policy. Well has it been said that we should neither set our goals too low nor shirk from adversity. No matter how difficult the road ahead, I am determined to devote myself to achieving political reform.
In this, I ask again for the understanding and support of the people and of their representatives in the Diet.
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