Urgent Proposal to the Government made by Policy Chief of LDP

Urgent Proposal to the Government made by Policy Chief of LDP Mr. Shigeru Ishiba at Press Conference held at The Liberal Democratic Party Headquarters on March 15

(Video Footage 27 min. 40 sec.)

A Brief Summary of Urgent Proposal:

At the time of the unprecedented crisis, we are well aware that we must cooperate with the Ruling Party regardless of the political barriers and constraints existing between two parties. We sincerely wish that the Government could fully utilize our knowledge and experience accumulated during our administrations in the past decades, for working out the effective measures to deal with our national disaster.

We would like to emphasize that both parties must recognize importance of the following two points:

1. Information-sharing
2. Establishment of effective framework in which the ruling party and our party can cooperate with each other, so as to reduce administrative burdens. 

In addition,  our past experience with emergency management strongly suggests that we must secure effective and strong leadership for achieving a common task.

List of Measures Urgently Required to Deal with Emergency Situation

To improve functions of the Prime Minister's Official Residence
1.  Appointment of Minister for Disaster Management
2.  To avoid any conflicting information, the Prime Minister's Official Residence should establish two separate chains of command, one of which should assume responsibilities for "Quake and Tsunami" and the other for  "Troubled Nuclear Power Plant", thereby defining division of responsibilities among the officials engaged in rescue and recovery works.

To deliver clear messages to the disaster-stricken areas
1.  To secure technical experts who assist Chief Cabinet Secretary during press briefings.
2.  To consider acceptance of the aged people, the physically challenged people, the sick people, children, and women at large hotels, housing facilities for the Parliamentarians, and other accommodations with possible financial support to be extended by the Government.
3.  To deliver such a clear message as "Food supply system has been secured." to the disaster-stricken areas.
4.  To deliver such a clear message as "To execute whatever measures they consider necessary to cope with the disasters without any regard to the budgets required." to the local governments.

Relief goods and their transport

1. To secure distribution networks of water, foods, fuels (gasoline, light oil, kerosene, heavy oil, etc.) in particular and pharmaceuticals, blood, reagents, disinfectants, long life milk, fruit juices, green tea bags, breads, powdered milk for babies, portable toilets, etc.
2. To secure logistics as soon as possible by achieving restoration of roads, highways, harbors, etc.  Removal of any rubbles sitting on access roads from harbors to the disaster-stricken areas is urgently requested. And  commence shipments of goods immediately after the removal of rubbles is achieved.
3. To provide those in the disaster-stricken areas with medical services, bathing facilities, toilets, etc. with the use of Self-Defense Forces capacity.
4. To fully utilize emergency supplies stored by both the Government and the private sector.
5. To formulate a plan for removing rubbles from the entire disaster-stricken areas and to implement it. 
6.  Emergency vehicle identification tag (pass) is now issued at the police stations in the areas where vehicles originate from. Vehicles with the emergency vehicle identification tag are exempted from highway toll payments in the entire Japan. Trucks transporting heavy construction equipment should be regarded as emergency vehicles.
7.  From April 1, a new highway toll system will be introduced. However, amid the current crisis, this plan should be abolished.

Measures related to nuclear power plants and scheduled blackouts

Measures related to nuclear power plants
1. To establish radioactivity monitoring stations surrounding Fukushima Nuclear Plant at the distance of 10 km, 20 km and 30 km. To officially announce data on the amount of radioactivity measured at different locations in a timely and appropriate manner, so as to avoid any conflicting information and to clearly indicate if levels of radioactivity measured at different locations are harmful to health or not.  To publicize data upon which we can easily judge if reactor containment has not been destroyed or not.
2. To establish close coordination between the Prime Minister's Official Residence and those working in Fukushima as the Prime Minister's Official Residence and TEPCO have now been integrated into one. Avoid any separate press conferences by Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, TEPCO, etc.
3. To issue evacuation order to those living between 20 km radius and 30 km radius of the plant to remain indoors and at the same time consider possible transport of evacuees to the neighboring prefectures.
4. To urgently establish supply system of gasoline to those trying to leave the evacuation zone where practically no gasoline for vehicles is available.
5. To ensure that cooling of spent nuclear fuel rods will be maintained while keeping reactors cool and safe.

Scheduled blackouts
1. To produce the blackout schedule as soon as possible in consideration of what industries, offices, schools, households, etc. require. To produce schedules for implementing blackouts in advance, giving time enough for the factories to schedule their productions.
2. To sufficiently consider needs of railways, hospitals, patients receiving home care, etc.
3. To formulate countermeasures to deal with cases in which school-going children may face when traffic lights are off, when no public transportation is available, and when no preparation of lunch meals is possible.
4. To immediately restore the functions of thermal power plants around Tokyo bay.

Measures related to relief to the people in the disaster-stricken areas

Employment measures
1. Operational measures of subsidies for employment adjustment are to be considered to expand their beneficiaries and to extend the payment period of subsidies, thereby securing employment and reducing burdens on employers.

Taxation measures
Deadline for submission of tax return forms should be extended along with the extension of deadline for the tax payment.

Financing measures
1. In preparation for sudden increase in demand for cash, banking systems including ATM must be restored as soon as possible.
2. Support to the local financial institutions must be secured, therefore supporting SMEs.
3. Support to the areas not affected by the massive quake and Tsunami by means of policy-based financing, thereby securing smooth financial flow.
4. To consider how to help those who lost bank books, documents, etc. thus helping them withdraw money from financial institutions
5. To consider how to help those in need for living expenses. ex. loans under social welfare financing system.
6. To consider exempting insurers from paying hospital bills to reduce their financial burdens.
7. To secure the appropriate post-mortem for those killed in this disaster and their burials with dignity while securing materials necessary for their burials.
8. To consider how to rescue pets in the disaster-stricken areas.

Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) and Foreign residents

Diplomacy and JSDF
1.  To consider replacement plan for JSDF soldiers now deployed at disaster-stricken areas in anticipation of long-term relief and recovery work.
2. To carry out immediate investigation into damaged fighter jets at Matsushima Air Self-Defense Force base and repair them if necessary by securing budget appropriations.
3. To secure budgets required for the deployment of 100,000 soldiers at disaster-stricken areas.
4. To establish a framework of cooperation with U.S Forces.
5. To establish a channel through which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can accept donations at the Japanese Embassies and Consulate Generals.
6. To establish a system by which we can confirm whereabouts of foreign trainees, workers, etc.
7. To establish a system by which we can extend our support to foreign students, etc. for returning back to their countries.
8. To support foreign rescue teams with precise and appropriate information and data on troubled nuclear facilities.
9. Press conferences, etc. have already been provided with sign language interpreters in response to our request made to the Government. However, foreign nationals should be provided with information in their languages through simultaneous interpretation, etc.

Administrative support to local governments

1. Appropriation and disbursement of JPY755.1 billion to all local governments scheduled for this March must be executed without any delay.
2. To legislate a system of extending administrative services to the municipal governments who lost functions, thereby making the prefectual governments possible to extend administrative services on behalf of the municipal governments. Services may include those related to national health insurance, care insurance, social welfare, pensions, and board of education.
3. To consider how to organize cross-sectional ministerial support in terms of manpower for backing up administration of municipal governments.
4. In budgeting process of supplementary budget for the fiscal year 2011, consider a large-scale appropriations of budgets to the local governments in the disaster-stricken areas.
5. To strengthen linkage with organizations concerned with the disasters for information-gathering.

Measures related to rebuild Japan with enhanced earthquake resistance capacity

1. To declare that disaster relief projects must be fully covered by the Government along with reconstruction projects for improvement. The projects at prefectural and municipal levels should be fully supported from when local governments begin their surveying, planning, etc.
2. The period of increased subsidies for enhancing the earthquake resistance capacity of school facilities will expire on March 31. The scheme that we think should include removal of rubbles must be extended for another five years.
3. To secure supplementary budge so as to speed up the implementation of projects for enhancing the earthquake resistance capacity of school facilities.

Important! Disclaimer:
1. The above translation is not a translation officially approved by the Liberal Democratic Party in any way. I have personally decided to translate the proposal made by the party at my discretion. Therefore, the translation will remain tentative. In case that viewers of my blog have any questions regarding the above, I personally suggest that you will contact Headquarters of the Liberal Democratic Party at 081-3-3581-6211.
2. I was trying to complete the above translation sooner but my work has been often disrupted by blackouts in Yokohama.
3. The above translation is subject to change whenever I feel necessary to change any part of  the translation.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to make your comments on the issues