February 17(Thursday)

No. 15: [Foreign Affairs] 'Opening Japan and Reinventing KIZUNA' -- Resonating with people in Davos


At the Davos Meeting attended mainly by world economic and business leaders,Prime Minister Kan delivered a special address.


Moderator: Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan.


Narration: Davos is a town located in the mountains of Switzerland.
Here, during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum known
as the "Davos Meeting," Prime Minister Kan delivered a special
address whose title is, "Opening Japan and Reinventing KIZUNA."


Prime Minister: Today, the world faces major changes that can be likened to a tectonic shift both in national security and in economic fields. Faced with these circumstances, I have set "the Third Opening of Japan" as a grand objective.


Narration: This was the first time that the "opening of the country"
was announced abroad. The concept has been repeatedly stressed
since the start of the year.


Prime Minister: One specific policy of major importance is the promotion of economic partnerships. With respect to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the Japanese Government will reach a decision on whether to join negotiations by around June this year.


Narration: What the Prime Minister underlined was that this is to
be an evolved form of opening up that can inspire the world, rather
than simple economic liberalization following the model of other
The Prime Minister introduced this concept directly in Japanese.


Prime Minister: At the same time with the opening of the country, we need to forge new connections between individuals, called "kizuna" (interpersonal bonds) in Japanese. There is a need for society-wide activities in which the government and volunteers cooperate to assist those who have fallen on hard times, beyond their family members.


Narration: Another point Prime Minister Kan emphasized in his
speech was the vision of revitalizing Japan's agriculture
compatible with the opening of the country.


Prime Minister: Two days ago, a Japanese food culture fair took place in Davos. Many people must have enjoyed it. In terms of output, Japan's agriculture ranks fourth in the world. As the attractiveness of Japan's food culture spreads throughout the world, I believe it is possible for Japanese agriculture to revitalize itself as a growing industry.


Narration: In addition to the speech, the Prime Minister attended
a dialogue with twelve experts, a Q&A session with world business
leaders, as well as individual meetings in between these events.


Narration: Participants commented about the speech...


Participant: I love the personality of your Prime Minister We will wait to see him next year [in Davos].


Interviewer: How do you feel about the new idea about the "least unhappiness"?


Participant: It's great. That's what we all want. And I like his approach.


Prime Minister: With this expression of determination as Prime
Minister of Japan, I will bring my speech to a close. Thank you
very much!


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