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Joint meeting of the Party Headquarters and Federations of Prefectural Party Branches

August 5, 2014

The LDP has already begun preparations for victory in the nationwide local elections scheduled for next spring. On August 5, it held a National Secretary-Generals' Meeting and a joint meeting of the Party Headquarters and Federations of Prefectural Party Branches. During a "policy briefing" held on the 8th floor of the Party Headquarters, Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba explained the legal framework for security, and Policy Research Council Chairman Sanae Takaichi discussed economic policy. Party President Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister), who had just returned from a visit of five Latin American countries the previous day, attended the meetings and spoke of the resolve with which he is approaching the elections. Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba referred to the elections as the "final reckoning" for the Party's return to power.


Policy briefings on security and the economy

The policy briefing was designed for board members of the Federations of Prefectural Party Branches, who represent organizations that stand in the forefront of the Party's political efforts. Their objective is to strengthen what the Party has to say about priority policy topics. The nationwide local elections scheduled for next year are particularly important because of their implications for the subsequent general election and the House of Councillors election. It is crucial for the Party to win the local elections to accelerate the initiatives for revitalizing Japan that began after returning to power.


The briefing focused on two topics: the legal framework for security and economic policy. Policy Research Council Acting Chairman Yasufumi Tanahashi served as the MC. After opening remarks by President Abe, Secretary-General Ishiba, who is also the Chairman of the Promotion Headquarters for the National Security Legislative Amendments and Establishment, explained key points in the legal framework for security, focusing on the exercise of the right of collective self-defense. Participants from Prefectural Federations requested more detailed explanations so as to be able to deepen the understanding of the people.


Policy Research Council Chairman Takaichi, also the Chairman of the Party's Headquarters for Japan's Economic Revitalization, spoke about economic policy, advocating "local Abenomics" as a means of creating a virtuous cycle of expansion. She emphasized the need for outcomes of the growth strategy to be spread to small and medium-sized enterprises and businesses throughout the country. During the question-and-answer session, participants underscored local conditions and concerns and commented that the impact of economic policies was not sufficiently felt in outlying areas.


The National Secretary-Generals' Meeting and the National Policy Research Council Chairmen's Meeting were held prior to the policy briefing. After the briefing, there was a reception at a hotel in Tokyo, where participants vowed to fight and win the upcoming nationwide local elections among other elections at all levels.


The Party Headquarters and local organizations are united in their efforts to rebuild the economy, reactivate local communities, and tackle important matters including foreign relations and defense, -- issues which have often been undervalued in recent years.



Summary of President Abe's remarks

In the 19 months since the last general election, we have seen the job-to-applicant ratio increase steadily to its highest level in 22 years. The wage growth rate is, likewise, above 2% for the first time in 15 years. We are without a doubt moving in the right direction. The economy, which was recording negative growth before we returned to power, has turned positive. We are strengthening the economy and taking back Japan. However, the warm breeze of prosperity has not yet been felt in every corner of the country. We must work to build and energize local communities for the future. We plan to submit bills to the extraordinary Diet session that will foster and encourage local-level growth.


There have been numerous criticisms leveled at the cabinet decision on the legal framework for security, and most of them are misguided. We heard similar arguments voiced in opposition to the amendment of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. History will be our judge. History will also judge whether we had the courage to make the correct decisions. We need to explain our position clearly and forthrightly. There is no reason to back down in the face of criticism for criticism's sake. As a responsible ruling party,, we must fulfill our responsibility to protect the lives of the Japanese people and maintain peace.


Since being appointed Prime Minister, I have visited 47 countries and attended more than 200 summits. I just returned from Latin America as the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit the region in a decade, and the first ever to visit Caribbean countries. People there support our proactive contributions to peace. I want to build a Japan that shines out to the world. We are stepping up on business diplomacy, and last year, our infrastructure exports tripled from the year before to reach 9 trillion yen. We will expand this further. The economy is our top priority, and we will do everything that we can to enrich the lives of the people.


The typhoon has caused some damage. We must learn the lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake and create a Japan that is prepared for and resilient in the face of disaster -- a Japan that is able to protect lives.


We were victorious in the past general election and House of Councillors election.However, our struggle to take back Japan will only be complete with a victory in the nationwide local elections. This is a fight that I am committed to fighting with you. The world has great expectations of us. Australian Prime Minister Abbott recently said that Japan should work proudly to contribute to the world. Let us go forward with that pride.

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