On January 16, the DPJ held its annual party convention for 2012. In his address to the convention DPJ President, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda expressed his determination to implement comprehensive reform of the social security and tax systems, having first engaged in disaster reconstruction, resolution of the nuclear accident, administrative reforms without sacred cows, and political reforms. He called for cooperation to make the forthcoming year the first year of an era of Japanese revitalization.
At the start of his speech, Noda expressed his appreciation to the leaders of the People’s New Party, the Social Democratic Party, New Party Daichi, and New Party Nippon, guests from the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, as well as Diet members and local assembly members who had gathered from all over the country to attend the convention.
Noda described the coming year as a crucial one both for the DPJ administration and for Japan, one in which full-scale reconstruction from the disaster needed to be carried out, an end put to the battle to deal with the nuclear accident and the revitalization of Fukushima ensured. At the same time he suggested that the administration needed to carve out a new stance toward the revitalization of the Japanese economy, and particularly to engage fully with employment issues, and also to develop knowledge that would create new growth in order to return vitality to the economy. He stressed that restoring the economy and guaranteeing employment would themselves be the first step toward Japan’s revitalization, which would begin with disaster reconstruction, and said that he would engage in them in this spirit. In order to achieve this, Noda urged the assembled politicians to revisit the original foundations upon which the change of government was built. He stressed it was necessary for them to exert every effort for the sake of Japan and the Japanese people, in the spirit of “We shall never, never, never give up.”
Noda also referred to important policy issues such as the promotion of economic partnerships, the relocation of Futenma based on the agreement between the US and Japan, and the comprehensive reform of social security and tax systems. He stressed that there was no future for Japan and the Japanese people unless these policies were implemented. Noda went on to express the opinion that politicians should end unproductive political debates, and take political responsibility, engaging in these issues from a broader perspective, and called for sincere discussions between the ruling and opposition parties.
Noda said that there was no change in the mission of his cabinet, which remained carrying out disaster reconstruction, winning the battle with the nuclear accident, bringing about economic reform and creating a Japan which people could feel proud to have been born in and in which they could feel hope for the future, and once more emphasized that he would fulfil these goals.
With regard to comprehensive social security and tax reforms, Noda emphasized that he was totally committed to carrying these out having implemented administrative reforms without sacred cows, including reductions in the salaries of national civil servants, and political reforms that would involve politicians sacrificing themselves. He stressed to the entire nation his determination to push through reforms and open the way to the Japan of tomorrow.