January 14(Friday)

No. 11 [New Year] The First Broadcast of 2011 -- Have Confidence in Japan!


The Prime Minister answers the question, "Is there any reason behind the recent assertiveness in your speech?" He explains three of the many reasons for why he has confidence in Japan.



Prime Minister: Happy New Year!


Narration: Since the start of the year, Prime Minister Kan has been
speaking his mind to the people at every opportunity, be it during
his New Year's press conference, in live interviews on TV programs,
or when he became the first incumbent Prime Minister to appear on
a live Internet program. The Prime Minister's positive tone in
these programs is backed by his confidence in Japan's potential,
which he thoroughly contemplated over the New Year holiday period.
For example...


Prime Minister: The biggest problem faced by Japan's agricultural sector now is that young people find it quite difficult to engage in it. This is epitomized by the fact that the current average age of the people engaged in such work is 66. But is this how it should be? There may be a number of young people who prefer working under the sun in a green field to using computers or doing office work. I would like to eliminate the various barriers to agricultural activities. That is one thing that I would like to work on.


Narration: Besides increasing the number of young people working in
agriculture, the sector could also change its form. The site visits
the Prime Minister has gone on since last December have reinforced
his confidence about this.


Prime Minister: The agricultural sector should move beyond being a primary industry that just produces goods like rice and vegetables and aim to handle food processing and delivery as well. In doing so, the sector should also aim to add value to these processes. We term this kind of industry a "sixth-order industry." Japanese cuisine has been overwhelmingly favored by many leaders during APEC meetings and on other occasions. Some have even said, "There is no cuisine as delicious and healthy as Japanese cuisine." Our cuisine is made possible by the agricultural sector. We should have confidence in this sector and export Japanese products to the world. I think Japan's agricultural sector can be revived through such approaches.


Narration: Last year, the Prime Minister had direct interaction
with many state leaders. His main principles remained firm
throughout these interactions.


Prime Minister: Last year there was great concern over the security situation in Asia. A stable Japan-US alliance is essential and indispensable to many countries in the Asian region as well -- a number of Asian leaders have told me this. The alliance is definitely international public goods.
We should therefore think upon the Japan-US alliance with confidence, knowing that it exists not only for the sake of Japan and the United States, but also for the stability of Asia and the world at large.
In this context, we should seek to have more open relations with China, Russia, and many other countries.


Narration: Open international relations. The slogan "Opening Japan
in the 21st century" isn't just about the liberalization of trade.


Prime Minister: "Opening up Japan" concerns not only the economy and our security situation, but also issues of human security, such as the problems taken up in the activities of JICA or the nitiatives of Mr. Tetsu Nakamura in Afghanistan, which are roles that Japan should play and that the international community expects Japan to play.
I met a number of world leaders last year. I heard many comments stating that Japan is one of the models they aim to emulate, and many expressions of gratitude for the provision of various medical and educational services to children through Japan's official development assistance (ODA) and other means. Japan has played a major role in the international community so far, and I believe it can play a significant role in the future as well.
It's time we take a positive attitude once again and open up to the world. Let's regain confidence in ourselves!


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