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New Year's Greetings Junichiro Koizumi

January 1, 2004

Junichiro Koizumi

Happy New Year and the very best for 2004

       It is two years and eight months since the Koizumi Cabinet was formed under the banner of ‘No reform, no growth.’ I would like to thank members of the Party as well as the people of Japan for their support and encouragement.

       The LDP won the general election last year, pledging ‘Koizumi’s Reform Declaration,’ which set out details of our core policies. I believe this victory is the result of the people’s support for the reforms pursued by my administration.

       We have integrated detailed reform measures in the draft budget. This includes concrete reform plans for a sustainable social security system and an administrative and fiscal reform of the local government with the goal of ‘delegating to the local authorities what they can do better.’

       We are making bold steps toward the privatization of the Japan Highway Public Corporation and Japan Post, two important pledges made during the election.

       Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the LDP. On this occasion, we will prepare a draft amendment to the Constitution which would make it better adapted to the times. We will invite a nation-wide debate, with the aim of creating a nation of dignity of which we can all be proud.

       In foreign relations, the LDP believes that the Japan-US alliance and international cooperation are critical to our national interest and form the basis of our diplomatic and security policies. We will play our part in humanitarian and reconstruction assistance including dispatch of personnel to Iraq and deal with the issues of North Korea following this principle.

       Our reforms have gradually come to bear fruit. Japan has recorded positive economic growth for six straight quarters. The numbers of bankruptcies and non-performing loans are in decline. Now it is time for us to make the economic recovery reach small to medium-sized businesses and local economies.

       This year we will have an election for the House of Councilors. We have to win this election to provide a stable political environment for carrying out the reforms already endorsed by the Japanese people. We have witnessed the first buds of our reform agenda. We must continue to foster them into full bloom of economic rejuvenation.

       I ask the people of Japan to extend your support to the LDP, ‘the new reform party.’

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