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People's Daily Online

Outcome of upper house election mandates nation building: Japanese PM

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 16:23, July 22, 2019

TOKYO, July 22 -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that the outcome of the upper house election on Sunday showed a public mandate on their need for political stability and hope to move ahead with "nation building."

In a nationally televised address, Abe, leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said that the party would like to forge ahead for the good of society and overcome the hurdles facing the nation.

"The LDP would like to unite all its power to move ahead with nation building and we reaffirm this determination," the prime minister said.

He went on to say that for the younger generations who will inherit the new era of "Reiwa", the election proved to be a strong mandate on certain measures to be taken.

With regard to the education of younger children, the party will eliminate their fees from October, making changes to the education system for the first time in 70 years.

"These will be implemented for sure," Abe said, adding that looking ahead, the government also plans to reduce the burden of raising children, with Japan's declining birthrate and rapidly aging society.

"We are going to reduce the burden of raising kids and boldly invest in the future generations. Children will be able to implement their dreams regardless of their social or economic backgrounds," said Abe.

He also mentioned the support for the elderly. "We would like to be a beacon and shed light on these people," he continued when talking about the nation's increasing senior citizens and social security costs.

"This is the responsibility of politics, I believe," said the Japanese premier, vowing that he will provide better pension care and reduce nursing care costs.

"The social security system has to be changed to benefit all people. We listened to the voices of the people carefully and, specifically, we are going to expedite our social security reforms," he said, adding that strong economy is based on social security.

The consumption tax in Japan will be raised in October this year from 8 percent to 10 percent, the prime minister reiterated, saying that various measures would be put in place to ensure demand doesn't wane.

"We will have a points system and premium vouchers will be issued and we will also have a tax reduction for some business owners, so we can stimulate strong demand in Japan," he said.

Pointing to global economic uncertainties such as trade frictions and Britain's plan to leave the European Union, Abe said that many uncertainties remain.

"We will monitor the downward trends so that we can be prepared for them," he said.

"The economy is the top priority of our policies," he added. "We will work on very active economic policies going forward," said Abe.

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