Bloomberg reports that new Japanese Prime Minister Yuko Hatoyama announced during his first press conference that his government will boost household spending to improve the economy, and is seeking a relationship with the U.S. based on trust and honesty.
“We want to urgently implement policies that people can be hopeful about,” says Hatoyama at a press conference Bloomberg attended. “We feel a very heavy responsibility.”
According to Bloomberg, Hatoyama vows to remove policy-making decisions from the country’s bureaucrats, and reveals a new national strategy office headed by deputy premier Naoto Kan will create a “budget framework” for the Ministry of Finance to complete. He appointed Hirohisa Fujii his finance minister and Katsuya Okada his foreign minister.
Hatoyama says that about 7 trillion yen ($76.9 billion) will be needed in the fiscal year beginning in April to spend on policies to increase child care, give tuition and jobless aid, and eliminate highway tolls.
Bloomberg says that Hatoyama leaves for the U.S. in less than a week to attend the Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh, address the United Nations in New York and meet President Barack Obama. “In the past, Japan tended to be passive in relations with the U.S., but I’d like to build a relationship where we can exchange views frankly,” says Hatoyama in the Bloomberg news article.