After a virtual recess following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Sept. 12 resignation announcement, Prime new Minister Yasuo Fukuda and the opposition are squaring off against each other in the Diet. The opposition camp says that since the prime minister does not have the people’s mandate, his first job should be to dissolve the Lower House for general elections. Rejecting this demand, Mr. Fukuda says his job is to respond to the people’s distrust of politics by concretely dealing with the various problems.

In his policy speech Mr. Fukuda put forward his basic political idea of “autonomy and living together.” He also said that by pushing “politics with warmth,” which will address policy issues closely related to the people’s lives, he would like to build a “country of hope, free from anxiety.” Replying to questions by Mr. Yukio Hatoyama, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan, Mr. Fukuda said that through sincere dialogue the ruling and opposition camps can work out measures that will be beneficial to the people, even if the situation is difficult.

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