Japan has many things to be proud of: a highly sophisticated history and culture, legal systems that allow its people to enjoy freedom, strong social bonds (that were amply demonstrated after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and highly regarded internationally), technology and industry with high standards, and many others. It is a responsibility of our generation to maintain these advantages that have been passed down by our forbears, to address any issues, and in turn pass them on to future generations.
1. A Spirit of Self-Reliance and Not Being Dependent on the Government
The beauty of Japan is the freedom enjoyed by its people, freedom that is protected under the Constitution, including freedom of expression. The Japanese people can enjoy this freedom and live freely in a democracy, which is wonderful. However, with freedom comes responsibility. When you claim your rights, there come responsibilities and obligations that accompany those rights.
However, Japan has now accumulated a debt of 1,000 trillion yen, which is more than double its GDP. Even if we can enjoy our freedom, it is irresponsible to accumulate debt. Excessive assistance to its people will decrease the vitality of the country and its people and collapse the national finances, imposing excessive burdens on the next generation. It is therefore important for the public themselves to embrace a spirit of self-reliance instead of depending on government assistance, subsidies, benefits and other measures.
2. Take Decisive Actions to Achieve Reforms during Our Generation without Imposing a Burden on the Next Generation
Japan has now accumulated a debt of 1,000 trillion yen, more than double the GDP. Increasing the national debt is a form of “abuse” of the next generation. In order to pass on a sound nation, our generation needs to take decisive actions to achieve reforms aimed at reducing the debt, instead of continuing to abuse future generations by imposing more burdens upon them.
It is obvious that the major causes of the fiscal collapse include the increase in social security expenditures due to Japan’s aging society and the decrease in the number of taxpayers supporting social security benefits due to a lower birthrate. We must undertake a radical review of social security based on defined intentions.
3. Create a Society where People who have taken on Challenges and been Successful give Something Back
Society is constantly evolving. No evolution means decline. In order to evolve, it is important to maximize the vitality of the private sector through ventures and innovations in such a way as to make the country one that is bursting with vitality and constantly changing and innovating.
To achieve this, it is necessary to create a society where people who emphasize risk taking, make great efforts to take on challenges, and work hard will be rewarded. It is desirable that the wealth gained by those who have been successful as a result of their hard work be given back to society by means of donations and others.
4. Take an Interest in Politics, Speak up and Vote!
In Japan, a country of popular sovereignty, all people have rights and corresponding responsibilities. Complaining about the nation’s political discourse is like spitting at the sky.
We, the citizens of Japan, must acutely understand that each of us is a member of the public and a voter, and should voice our opinions. We should give good politicians our full support and never fail to exercise our vote. If there are no good politicians, you yourself may have to run for election and take on a leadership role.
It is necessary for each one of us, in our own way, to consciously contribute to society as leaders responsible for shaping Japan. To do so, it will be necessary for each member of the public to “be conscious of being a leader” who serves as a driving force for the country, to “offer proposals rather than criticisms,” and to change our focus “from ideas to actions.”
If Japan wakes up and acts according to this spirit, it will continue its development as a sound country.