HIGHLIGHTS-Comments from Japan PM candidates Kan,Tarutoko

TOKYO, June 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Japanese Finance Minister Naoto
Kan, the front-runner to replace outgoing Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama, was joined by lesser-known lawmaker Shinji Tarutoko on
Thursday in the race to head the ruling Democratic Party.

The next Democratic Party leader will be the new prime
minister by virtue of the party’s majority in parliament’s
powerful lower house. The party will vote on Friday.

Following are key quotes from Kan and Tarutoko at news
conferences on Thursday.

ECONOMIC POLICY

Kan:

“I think Japan would have avoided a long economic slump and
massive fiscal deficits if it had not erred on economic and
fiscal policies.

“By compiling new growth strategies and fiscal reform plans
in June, I plan to achieve a strong economy, public finances and
social welfare system in a unified manner.”

“For the past 20 years, Japan’s economic policies were wrong.
I want to seek to boost growth by creating jobs.”

Tarutoko:

“There will need to be a link between social security (costs)
and the sales tax. That is the way to make fiscal consolidation
compatible with making people comfortable in their livelihoods.

“But we have promised not to raise the sales tax before the
next general election (which must be held by 2013). I want to
keep this promise.”

ON CAMPAIGN PLEDGES

Kan:

“We initially expected to cut a considerable amount of waste
to come up with new budgets and financial resources. But we
haven’t been able to do so as quickly as we expected. We will
continue to make efforts, but this is one item in the manifesto
that has taken longer than initially thought.”

Tarutoko:

“We should not change the basics of what we promised in the
manifesto ahead of (last year’s) general election until the next
general election.

“But the manifesto we compiled before we won the general
election last year was premised on about 45 trillion yen ($485
billion) in tax revenues. It was after the end of last year that
it became clear that revenues would fall far short of this.

“Given that revenues are down, we must think about the time
schedule (for implementing the policies in the manifesto). So I
think there may be a review in that sense, but I don’t we think
should change the basic spirit (of our pledges).”

ON DIPLOMACY

Kan:

“The issue of U.S. bases in Okinawa is a very difficult one
as it involves lessening the burden on the people of Okinawa and
maintaining a trusting security relationship between Japan and
the United States. We need long-term efforts with the aim of
lessening the burden on Okinawa based on the U.S-Japan deal.”

“I believe the Japan-U.S. relationship is the foundation of
Japan’s diplomacy… The course we need to take is to maintain a
trusting relationship with the United States and at the same time
to consider China as equally important. I think that’s the right
course for Japan’s future as well.”

ON DOMESTIC POLITICS

Kan:

“I would like to form a cabinet that the public can have
hopes for, while keeping in mind that an upper house election is
near.”

Kan said both Hatoyama and ruling party heavyweight Ichiro
Ozawa had resigned partly due to funding scandals, adding:

“This has caused mistrust among the public. Ozawa should be
quiet for a while. That would be good for him, for the Democratic
Party and for Japanese politics.”

“I will make the Democratic Party a clean party that can be
trusted by the Japanese people.”

Stock Market Basics
($1=92.69 Yen)
(Reporting by Chisa Fujioka, Yoko Nishikawa)

HIGHLIGHTS-Comments from Japan PM candidates Kan,Tarutoko