In the recent general election of members of the House of Representatives, we failed to meet the expectations of the people with a regrettable result. I accept with sincerity the people's dissatisfaction with the government and ruling parties and criticism toward them.
We must seriously reflect upon matters such as whether we responded effectively to the people's dissatisfaction over the various social issues, including the disparity issue and the sense of helplessness in the society, and whether we sent out a message on policies fully and unfailingly.
I have boldly advanced policies, placing the foremost priority on reviving the economy. Japan was facing a historic global recession and experiencing a downturn of its economy when I assumed the office of Prime Minister on September 24 last year.
At that time, I had given priority to policy over politics, or economic and unemployment countermeasures over a general election, in order to safeguard the daily lives of the Japanese people. Abnormal circumstances require extraordinary countermeasures; we have passed four budgets in six months.
This could not have been realized were bureaucrats to take the rein. The result was a 3.7% annualized real economic growth rate for April to June this year, the highest rate among the developed nations. The economic countermeasures have thus started to bring about their results.
Yet, we have only reached half-way. If we were to think of the people's daily lives, I am convinced that I have made the right decision to prioritize policy over politics.
I am also confident that I have advanced the correct policies on the North Korean issue, the fight against terrorism, and measures to counter piracy, with an aim to safeguard the nation and the people.
However, my inadequacy led to this result. I offer a frank apology and take sincere heed of the people's voice, determined to make a fresh start. Safeguard what must be safeguarded. Reform to safeguard what must be safeguarded.
Change what must be changed. This is the essence of conservative politics.
I would like to express my gratitude to all the readers of this e-mail for having taken the time to read it. The various opinions for criticism and encouragement have all spurred me on and given me the courage to drive forward policies.
Thank you so very much. I pledge that I will continue to make my utmost efforts and achieve politics that meets public expectations.