The following is the gist of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s remarks at his New Year’s news conference:
This year we will definitely present to the people proposals for constitutional revision that will bring hope for a new era and further deepen the national debate on the constitution. I would like to work on this in 2018 as the president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). There is no doubt that the form and the model of the state need to be discussed in response to changes of the times. I leave all the specifics of this debate to the party. There is no predetermined schedule. It is hoped that a broad consensus can be achieved involving both the ruling and opposition parties.
We would like to move firmly toward ending deflation through economic growth driven by domestic demand.
We will rectify unreasonable disparity in compensation regardless of the form of employment and make it possible to choose diverse work styles freely. We will end the practice of long working hours. We plan to take up major historic reforms for the first time in the 70 years of the Labor Standards Law. The regular Diet session convening later this month will be a session devoted to work-style reform.
Foreign and security policies
I would like to work vigorously on the truly necessary defense capabilities for the protection of the people and not simply on expanding existing capabilities. We will closely watch the effects of sanctions on North Korea. Through cooperation with the U.S. and the ROK and stronger pressure on the DPRK by the international community, including China and Russia, we will make utmost efforts to resolve the nuclear, missile, and abduction issues.
We would like to hold a Japan-China-ROK summit at an early date. Coordination is underway with China and the ROK.
LDP presidential election
My most important responsibility is to implement the productivity revolution and revolution in human resources development pledged during the House of Representatives election. I would like to focus on producing results in the regular Diet session. I will think about plans for the future after that.