December 14(Tuesday)

Determination to lower the corporate tax rate and the duty to return human remains


Last night (December 13), I made a political judgement to lower the corporate tax rate by 5% and gave instructions to the relevant ministers regarding this matter.  This was a bold decision taken in order to promote domestic investment and expand employment.  This is also by extension a policy that looks to the future insofar as it will lead to wage increases for workers.


The next morning - today, December 14 - I set off for the island of Ioto for the first time in four years, together with bereaved relatives, volunteers, Diet members participating without regard to political party, and others.  The issue of this island, the site in Japan at which is found the greatest number of remains of Japanese soldiers still unrecovered today, is a matter of concern in which I have been engaged through questioning in the Diet and so forth since before the DPJ came to lead the government.


Mr. Yukihiko Akutsu, a member of the House of Representatives and a member of the Task Force Team for the Recovery of the Remains of the War Dead in Ioto established under my instruction upon becoming Prime Minister this past summer, set off to conduct research at United States' public records offices, whereupon he ascertained the existence of a large-scale mass burial site for Japanese soldiers.


Today I myself participated in the recovery of remains at this mass burial site.  Over the past almost twenty years, the remains able to be recovered on this island have generally not gone beyond a few dozen a year.  However, at this newly-identified location, the remains of 300 soldiers have already been found, and recovery work is still ongoing.


During the war, the nation was entrusted with an existence irreplaceable to their families.  If the nation was unable to have them return home in good health, then at the very least it must return their remains to the places where their families await them.  I stated clearly at today's memorial ceremony that this is incumbent upon the nation.


This is not merely a tale of years past.  It is also in fact a message for peace that conveys to future generations the tragedy of war.


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