‘Decision’ Receives Heavy Use in PM Policy Speech

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida takes off his mask before delivering a policy speech at a plenary session of the House of Representatives on Monday.

Words like “decision” and “reform” featured much more heavily in a policy speech delivered by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at both chambers of the Diet on Monday than in a similar speech he delivered in October last year.

In past Diet deliberations, Kishida used “consider” or “consideration” so frequently that he was criticized for not being decisive enough. Apparently in reaction, Kishida this time sought to emphasize his active approach to tackling such issues as the strengthening of defense capabilities and measures for the declining birthrate.

“The latest decision marks a major turning point in Japan’s security policy,” Kishida said, referring to a plan to fundamentally strengthen Japan’s defense capabilities and secure counterattack capabilities.

In his 43-minute speech, the word “decision” appeared six times. Five of those uses came in the speech’s introductory section.

In another policy speech at the extraordinary Diet session in October, Kishida never used the word. Kishida seems to have grown more confident after having hammered out major policy decisions including a revised National Security Strategy, which was approved by the Cabinet at the end of last year.

The word “reform” appeared 11 times in the latest policy speech, nearly twice as many times as in October’s policy speech, where it was used five times. The word was used for a wide range of themes including expenditure reduction to help fund national defense, digital transformation of administrative procedures and enhancement of the functions of the U.N. Security Council.

The shift away from “consideration” to more resolute words was apparently aimed at emphasizing his ability to make decisions and implement them. In Monday’s policy speech, Kishida also said, “Considerations, decisions and deliberations are all important and necessary.”