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Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda addresses policy

09-14-2011 09:08 BJT

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Japan's new Prime minister Yoshihiko Noda has outlined his reform policies to a divided Parliament. He's warning that the nation's industry is in danger of what he calls "hollowing out" and that taxes will have to rise. He also spoke about nuclear issues after the country's twin disasters.

Crippled nuclear plants, a worsening economy, divided Parliament, and a quick succession of Prime Ministers. These are what Japanese new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is facing as he takes office.

In his first policy speech to parliament, he repeatedly called on opposition parties, bureaucrats and the private sector to work together.

Yoshihiko Noda said, "Let's come together and rally our strengths to overcome this time of historical adversity and bring about a rebirth of Japan."

The world's third-largest economy is likely to pull out of a brief post-quake recession this quarter, but the yen's strength and faltering global growth cloud the outlook for months ahead.

The 54-year-old former finance minister led three yen-selling currency market interventions in the past 12 months, yet again he voiced alarm over the yen's continuing strength.

Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda delivers his policy speech
during an extraordinary Diet session in Tokyo, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011.

Yoshihiko Noda said, "With the yen at historically strong levels now, and developing nations rapidly catching up, we are confronted with an unprecedented crisis of our nation's industry 'hollowing out'."

So far the government has yet to bring the Fukushima nuclear plant under control. It saw the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami ravaged the country's northeast. Noda has promised to restart the country's plants following safety checks but also called for a move away from Japan's reliance on the power source.

Yoshihiko Noda said, "It is not productive to see things in simple black and white, and talk in either anti-nuclear or pro-nuclear terms. We must move towards our mid and long term goals of lowering, as much as possible, our reliance on nuclear energy."

Noda took over the reins from deeply unpopular Naoto Kan with high support ratings of 60 percent or more.

But his cabinet got off to rocky start as his trade minister was forced to quit after just eight days in office, following reports he joked with reporters on the sensitive subject of radiation from the Fukushima plant during his trip to the area.

Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda delivers his policy speech
during an extraordinary Diet session in Tokyo, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011.



Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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