KOGA Says! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Statement on the Inauguration of the Abe Administration
27 September 2006
RENGO’s Statement by General Secretary Koga
- Yesterday elections were held in plenary sessions of the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors and Shinzo Abe was elected 90th Prime Minister ushering in a new administration that proclaimed itself the "Cabinet to create a beautiful nation." The Cabinet lineup consists mainly of those with close political tie to Abe as well as his close allies and supporters.
- In his first news conference as Prime Minister, Abe said that he wants to accelerate structural reform while reinforcing it. Until now, RENGO has sounded the alarm against the ruling parties’ exclusive devotion to structural reform and market-economy-supremacy policies demanding that economic disparities be redressed to restore Japan from anxiety and distrust. Whether or not these "re-challenge" policies being promoted by the Abe administration will respond to those issues remains to be seen but we will pay particular attention to Prime Minister Abe's policy speech on September 29th, his presentation of specific future policies and plans to carry them out; and weigh our future responses.
- Meanwhile, issues of immediate national defense and security are the most conspicuous – including the possible extension of special anti-terrorism legislation, upgrading the Defense Agency to a ministry, and a national referendum bill to revise the Japanese Constitution, all of which are important matters pending consideration at the current extraordinary Diet session. Similarly, issues including the reformation of the Basic Education Law and the (Prime Minister's) planned visit to Yasukuni Shrine (which raises questions regarding national perceptions of history) are also directly related to the state of the nation. How the new Abe administration intends to steer the country is a matter gaining increased attention both domestically and abroad. Moreover, RENGO will monitor the new government’s plans to improve relationships with the neighboring nations of China and Korea which have recently soured under the former administration, and continue to supply necessary responses.
- RENGO’s stance toward the Abe administration will be decided by specifically the kinds of policies they carry out. In that sense, RENGO will, for the time being, continue to maintain a dialog with the new government mainly through the government-labor meetings while paying attention to the administration's specific policies and its management of Diet affairs in addition to what we have stated above. However, we do not hold out much hope for the Abe government as it has showed its basic attitude by further accelerating the structural reform line of the former administration.
In order to establish a real democracy and lead the nation in the proper direction, RENGO maintains that nothing but a change of administration will do the job. RENGO will continue to put all its effort into correcting social disparity and achieve a safe and fair society while further deepening its ties with the Democratic Party of Japan which is led by President Ozawa who was re-elected on September 25th and taking all possible measures to ensure future elections.