Statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
September 25, 2007
All the members of the Abe Cabinet have resigned today.
First of all, I would like to make a heartfelt apology to the people of Japan for being unable to completely fulfill my responsibilities as Prime Minister.
Since the inauguration of my Cabinet in September last year, we have proceeded with a growth strategy centered on innovation and openness under the banner of creating "a beautiful country," while also advancing our efforts to make a break with the postwar regime, which has entailed making bold revisions of various systems that have continued for many years since the end of the war, such as the rebuilding of education, reform of the civil servant system and decentralization reform. Moreover, during this same period, we have vigorously developed "proactive diplomacy," including strengthening our solidarity with countries that share the same basic values, working toward the peace and prosperity of the Asian region and proposing "Cool Earth 50" for a resolution of climate change issues.
Even in the short space of one year, we have achieved reforms that no other postwar administrations had been able to achieve, including the revision of the Fundamental Law of Education for the first time since the end of the war, the establishment of the National Referendum Law for constitutional amendment, which had not been developed previously during the 60 years since enforcement of the Constitution, and the transition of the Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense. We also have laid the groundwork for a number of issues, such as the reorganization of the operations of the Social Insurance Agency from scratch; the tightening of fiscal discipline; a review of the system under which tax revenues are earmarked for road projects; and the realignment of US forces in Japan. All of these achievements have been entirely due to the people's understanding and support, for which I would like to offer my sincere gratitude.
It is my eager wish that new nation-building efforts with a focus on the changes of the times will continue to proceed vigorously under the new Cabinet.
I would like to take this opportunity to once again express my sincere gratitude to the people for their invaluable support and cooperation.