Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY EDANO: First of all I would like to report on the Cabinet meeting that was held today.
The meeting approved eight general and other measures, and also approved the issuance of Cabinet orders and personnel decisions.
There were a number of statements by ministers. The Minister of Justice and Minister for the Abduction Issue Nakano gave a report on the partial changes to the Basic Plan for Human Rights Education and Encouragement. It has been decided to include reference to the abduction issue in this Basic Plan.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs gave a report on the 2011 Diplomatic Bluebook.
Minister Renho made a statement on the law relating to the management of official documents and others, which goes into force from today. Minister Renho requested that all government ministries and agencies make thorough efforts to manage official documents.
The Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications made a statement on advance provision of the June portion of local allocation taxes for FY2011. The minister reported that in view of the current disaster it has been decided to bring forward the June payment of local allocation taxes and provide it together with the April payment for those local governments that have been affected by the disaster. This will allow slightly less than one trillion yen to be allocated promptly. For further details please direct your questions to the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications.
The Minister of Finance made a statement concerning the passage of the FY2011 budget. He reported that a mechanism has been put in place to ensure that approximately 5% of budget allocated for public works projects will be targeted specifically to deal with the disaster. For further details please direct your questions to the Minister of Finance.
In ministerial discussions I made a statement concerning the partial return of Cabinet members' salaries.
To date Cabinet members have been repaying 10% of their salaries. In addition, yesterday a law was passed to reduce remuneration to Diet members, stipulating that each Diet member should return 500,000 yen per month of their remuneration package for a period of six months. If the current system is used the 500,000 yen reduction will not affect Cabinet members who are members of the Diet, as their remuneration reflects their ministerial level status. For this reason Cabinet members are requested to voluntarily repay an additional monthly sum of 500,000 yen equivalent to the deduction being made from Diet members' salaries.