Mr. President,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to His Excellency Dr. AH
Abdussalam Treki on assuming the Presidency of the sixty-fourth session of the United
Nations General Assembly. I would also like to express my respect to His Excellency
Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann for his excellent leadership in the previous session.

I highly commend as well the dedication and leadership of His Excellency
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in tackling the various challenging issues that the
United Nations faces at this time.

Mr. President,

It was 120 years ago, in 1889, that the electoral system, while limited, was
initiated in Japan. From that time forward, the change of government through
elections was in fact a matter of course in Japan, which even had an era in the early 20th
century called the "Taisho democracy". *

Japan thus is a nation with a solid heritage of democracy and elections. After
the Second World War, however, Japan has not experienced changes of power through
the ballot box. Tensions between the politicians and the bureaucrats disappeared. As
a result, it cannot be denied that Japan’s foreign policy was somewhat deprived of

However, on 30 August this year, the Japanese people finally chose through a
general election to have a change of power. This is a triumph for democracy in Japan
and a victory for the Japanese people. Last week, on 16 September, I assumed the
office of Prime Minister of Japan, and thus I stand before you today.

My new administration embodies the dynamism of democracy and will exert all
efforts to address both domestic affairs and foreign policy challenges through our
"all-Japan" lineup.

Mr. President,

Japan’s accession to the United Nations was approved on 18 December 1956.
The Prime Minister at the time was Ichiro Hatoyama, my grandfather.
At the eleventh session of the General Assembly, where Japan made its maiden
speech, then-Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu stated:

The substance of Japan’s political, economic and cultural life is the
product of the fusion within the last century of the civilizations of the
Orient and the Occident. In a way, Japan may well be regarded as a
bridge between the East and the West. She is fully conscious of the
great responsibilities of such a position.

My grandfather Ichiro, then Prime Minister, was an advocate of the concept of
yu-ai, or "fraternity". This yu-ai is a way of thinking that respects one’s own freedom
and individual dignity while also respecting the freedom and individual dignity of

There is a remarkable resonance between the concept of the "bridge" in Mamoru
Shigemitsu’s address and Ichiro’s concept of yu-ai, or "fraternity".

Now, fifty-three years later, here at the very same United Nations General
Assembly, I declare with firm determination that Japan will play again the role of a

Mr. President,

Today, the world faces numerous arduous challenges. This is not an easy era
by any means, but the "new Japan" will not turn its back on such challenges. Based
upon the spirit of yu-ai, or "fraternity", Japan will make utmost efforts to become a
"bridge" for the world, between the Orient and the Occident, between developed and
developing countries and between diverse civilizations.

Today, I would like to address you regarding five challenges that Japan intends
to take on in serving as this "bridge".
The first is measures to respond to the global economic crisis.

While the global economy appears to have emerged from the worst stage of the
crisis, it is still difficult to predict its future prospects, including the issue of

What Japan must do in this area is first of all to revive its own economy. The
new Japan has a plan for achieving this.
"Child allowances" of 5.5 trillion yen annually will serve not only as an
investment in education but also as a means of stimulating consumption and a policy to
address the low birthrate in Japan.

The abolishment of provisional rates on auto-related taxes will provide tax relief
amounting to 2.5 trillion yen annually, and at the same time is expected to enhance the
cost competitiveness of Japanese industries through the revitalization of the distribution

As I will touch upon later, we are setting a very ambitious target to tackle
climate change, and this should result in the creation of new markets, including for
electric vehicles, solar power generation and clean energy businesses. Furthermore,
we will ensure stable potential for growth through the creation of new industries and
new technologies in maritime, space, next-generation IT and other fields.

By reviewing economic policies through this change of power, Japan is sending
a clear signal of the forthcoming revival of its economy.

The new Japan will also need to respond appropriately to globalization. The
deepening of worldwide interdependence described by the term "globalization" includes
aspects of both light and shadow. Expanding the light while controlling the shadow
has become a global task for the world of today.

As we advance the liberalization of trade and investment, international
coordination is necessary in order to forge systems to rein in the issues of poverty and
economic disparity, which are difficult to coordinate by simply leaving them to market
mechanisms, as well as excessive money-making games. Japan will play a role as a
"bridge" in international fora, including the G20, towards the formulation of common
rules to that end.

The second challenge is to address the climate change issue.

As is apparent from the increased incidence of extreme weather events, rising
sea levels and other phenomena, climate change is a danger that in fact already
confronts us. Furthermore, efforts by one country can only produce limited effects.

However, due to differences in short-term interests between developed and developing
countries, and among developed countries as well as among developing countries, the
path to create a post-2012 framework will be anything but smooth.

The new Japanese government has set a very ambitious target for a greenhouse
gas emissions reduction of 25% by 2020, if compared to the 1990 level. It has also
made it clear that it is prepared to provide more financial and technical assistance to
developing countries than in the past, in accordance with the progress of the
international negotiations. This international commitment is premised on the
formulation of a fair and effective international framework by all major economies and
agreement on their ambitious targets. Japan announced this ambitious pledge because
it wishes to serve as a "bridge" among countries with varied interests and to preserve
the planet for future generations.

I would like to appeal strongly to the distinguished representatives present
today: let us work together to ensure the success of the upcoming COP 15 meeting.

The third challenge is that of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

I welcome the progress being made in the negotiations on nuclear weapons
reductions between the United States and the Russian Federation. I also commend the
United Kingdom and France for their initiatives. It is urgent that all nuclear-weaponholding
States take concrete measures on nuclear disarmament. There are States
currently engaged in efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Furthermore, there is an
increasingly greater risk that nuclear materials and nuclear technologies will be passed
on to terrorists or even actually used.

In this area as well, Japan has the potential to become a promoter of nuclear
disarmament and serve as a "bridge" between States possessing nuclear weapons and
those without them. Japan can speak with the greatest persuasiveness in urging
nuclear-weapon-holding States towards nuclear disarmament and non-nuclear nations to
avoid the temptation to acquire nuclear weapons. This is because Japan is the only
country which has ever suffered the devastation of atomic bombings, and as such has
never ceased to appeal for "no more Hiroshimas" and "no more Nagasakis". Japan has
also continued to maintain the "Three Non-Nuclear Principles", despite its potential
capability to acquire nuclear weapons.

In April this year in Prague, President Barack Obama articulated a vision of a
"world without nuclear weapons", inspiring people throughout the globe. I am one of
those people. In order to ensure the success of the NPT Review Conference to be held
next year in May, we must take action now towards the early entry into force of the
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the early commencement of
negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).

Here I must touch upon the DPRK. The DPRK’s nuclear tests and missile
launches are a threat to the peace and stability not only of the region but also of the
international community as a whole, and cannot be condoned under any circumstances.

It is imperative that the DPRK comply fully with the relevant Security Council
resolutions and that the international community implement these resolutions. Japan
will continue its efforts to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through
the Six-Party Talks. Japan seeks to normalize relations with the DPRK in accordance
with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, through the comprehensive resolution of
the outstanding issues of concern with the DPRK, including the abduction, nuclear and
missile issues, and by sincerely settling the "unfortunate past". In particular, regarding
the abduction issue, constructive actions by the DPRK, including swiftly commencing a
full investigation as agreed last year, will be an avenue towards progress in
Japan-DPRK relations. If the DPRK takes such constructive and sincere actions,
Japan is ready to respond positively.

The fourth challenge is presented by the issues of peacebuilding, development
and poverty.
Even hi the twenty-first century, the world has not been liberated from the
problems of poverty, infectious diseases, health, education, water and sanitation, food
and illegal drugs. The situation is particularly serious in developing countries. I am
also compelled to point out the unfortunate reality that fragile or failed States can
become breeding grounds for terrorism. The global economic crisis that began last
year has been exacerbating the situation. The new Japan should also become a
"bridge" in this area.
Japan will work in partnership with international organizations and NGOs and
strengthen its assistance to developing countries in terms of both quality and quantity.
Japan intends to continue and strengthen the Tokyo International Conference on African
Development (TIC AD) process, and redouble its efforts towards the achievement of the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the promotion of human security.

For the stability and the reconstruction of Afghanistan, Japan has provided
assistance in a broad range of fields, such as strengthening the security sector including
through assistance for the police, and developing social infrastructure. Japan has also
extended agricultural assistance and capacity-building support, including vocational
training, through JICA, its aid implementation agency. Japan will proactively support
Afghanistan’s own efforts towards its stability and reconstruction in conjunction with
the international community. It goes without saying that the primary actors in
achieving peace hi Afghanistan and in advancing national reconstruction are the people
of Afghanistan themselves. As progress is made, reconciliation and reintegration of
insurgents will become critical issues. Japan will make vital contributions in these
areas, including possible reintegration assistance, such as vocational training aimed at
providing a means of livelihood to people who have undergone reconciliation. The
stability of the surrounding region is also important, and Japan is steadfastly providing
support for Pakistan and other countries in the area.
In the world in which we now live, national security and human security are
becoming increasingly intertwined. The path forward that will save humanity is one
which can bring about "shared security", in which various nations, ethnicities, races and
religions coexist while acknowledging the differences among them. In other words, it
is to bring about a "shared security" through the principles ofyu-ai or "fraternity".

The fifth challenge is to build an East Asian community.

Today, there is no way that Japan can develop without deeply involving itself in
the Asia and the Pacific region. Reducing the region’s security risks and sharing each
others’ economic dynamism based on the principle of "open regionalism" will result in
tremendous benefits not only for Japan but also for the region and the international
Given the historical circumstances arising from its mistaken actions hi the past,
Japan has hesitated to play a proactive role in this region. It is my hope that the new
Japan can overcome this history and become a "bridge" among the countries of Asia.
I look forward to an East Asian community taking shape as an extension of the
accumulated cooperation built up step by step among partners who have the capacity to
work together, starting with fields in which we can cooperate—Free Trade Agreements,
finance, currency, energy, environment, disaster relief and more. Of course, Rome was
not built in a day, so let us seek to move forward steadily on this, even if at a moderate

Mr. President,

In closing, I would like the distinguished representatives to recall that the United
Nations is the forum in which "bridging" diplomacy is manifested.
In resolving various issues in international peace and stability, development and
the environment, among others, the United Nations has an immense role to play. I
intend to make greater use of the United Nations and to work to enhance the
effectiveness and the efficiency of the United Nations as a whole.

I firmly believe that Japan has the capacity to play an even greater role in the
United Nations, and above all at the Security Council, as a "bridge" among various
countries. Japan will continue to engage actively in the intergovernmental negotiations
on Security Council reform, pursuing the expansion of both permanent and
non-permanent membership and Japan’s permanent membership in the Council.

This concludes my message from the "new Japan".

Thank you for your kind attention.