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Warmest Greetings for the New Year.

January 1, 2012

 Last year, the Great East Japan Earthquake in March, followed by Typhoons No. 12 and 15, caused enormous damage to our nation. The difficulties we face even today are almost impossible to describe. Yet even as we struggle, I cannot help but feel the stirring of hope---hope that we will be able to overcome this tremendous crisis for our nation, that we will indeed be able to recover from these disasters. I feel this hope when seeing the firm belief of those who are determined to stand again. I see it in the people’s efforts to support each other, efforts that are rooted in a deep love of one’s homeland. I see this in the iron resolve to bring together all the strengths of Japan, the great desire of our people to restore this nation. I am struck again by the power of human bonds, bonds of which the Japanese people are so proud. I am convinced that it is these human ties that will create a future full of hope for Japan

 When confronted with this national crisis, however, the administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan placed its greatest priority on “performances” by the Prime Minister, and under the slogan that “policies should be led by politicians,” it belittled the role of government to the point where the work of governing has effectively ground to a halt. During the 2 years that the DPJ has been in power, the party’s unending internal divisions have paralyzed the administration of the country. The resulting weakening of Japan’s diplomatic and defensive powers has increased the anxieties of the Japanese people, particularly in regard to our nation’s sovereignty and other territorial issues.

 But most damaging of all, the major policies of the DPJ’s Manifesto, or the “promises to the people” made during the last election for the House of Representatives, have ended in complete failure. With no adequate explanations offered to the public, almost all of these campaign promises have been withdrawn.

The clearest example of this concerns the consumption tax. Our party, in successive election pledges and revisions to tax policies, has clearly declared its intention to force through a fundamental reform of the tax system, a reform that includes the consumption tax. In contrast, the Manifesto of the DPJ loftily declared as a campaign promise that the DPJ would be able to secure enough sources of revenue simply by eliminating wasteful spending. They completely dismissed any need for a consumption tax increase.

 To allow the DPJ-led administration to now throw aside this pledge, to permit this party to violate its contractual obligation to the people of Japan and move forward with a consumption tax increase, is something we simply cannot stand by and allow to happen.

 Using falsehoods and honeyed words to deceive the people during the last Lower House election, the DPJ showed no regard for the people in its quest to obtain power by any means. The legitimacy of this government has now been completely shattered. No longer can we allow this administration, which has lost all credibility, to continuing setting the direction for this nation.

 Now is the time for the Liberal Democratic Party to stand at the forefront, to create hope for people who wish to be autonomous and independent, to set forth a vision based on the power of human bonds, and to pull together the strengths of our people to rebuild this nation in a uniquely Japanese way. So that the people of Japan will once again believe that “it is the LDP that is the party we can trust to take the reins of government”, I pledge to all of you that our party will do everything in its power to achieve this goal.

 This year will see a decisive battle in the political arena, a battle on which the very future survival of Japan will depend. A continuation of a DPJ-led administration will mean the further deterioration of our nation’s sovereignty and our national interests. We have not a moment to lose in bringing to a halt the collapse of this nation. We are proud of our history as a national party possessing deep roots in each region of the country. We pledge to reclaim the government from a DPJ that no longer has any credibility with the people. In order to restore Japan to a nation filled with serenity and hope, I promise to you my unwavering resolve to struggle and fight until the day we achieve our aim.

 With my prayers for your continued success and good health, I offer you again my best wishes to you for a happy new year.

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