Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday delivered his second policy speech during the current Diet session. He started his speech with the phrase "a strong Japan." He seems to have strong attachment to the word "strong." At the outset of his speech, he said a strong Japan is "for us, not somebody else" to build. In other parts of his speech, he used such phrases as "strong agriculture," "a strong economy," "the only way to leave a great country, a strong country, to the next generation Japanese," and "Let's aim to become No. 1 in the world."
But the prime minister should not forget the possibility that as the county pursues policies aimed at making Japan "strong," such policies could result in ignoring the needs of the weak in Japanese society. As Mr. Abe said in his speech, many people are still suffering from the effects of the 3/11 disasters. Also many people have anxiety about their future lives because of poor economic conditions. The prime minister should not forget paying enough attention to the conditions of the weak and working out detailed policies aimed at them. Unless policies aimed at alleviating the anxieties of those least well-off in society are vigorously pursued, the country as a whole will be socially and economically fragile.
Mr. Abe's policy speech showed that he leans toward market fundamentalism. Declaring that "I aim to build a country where enterprises are the most free in the world to do business," he will push "regulation reform without sacred cows" and remove obstacles to enterprises' activities one by one.