I visited Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Kotaro Nogami with Mayor of Asakura City Yuji Hayashi, Mayor of Chikuzen Town Kikumi Tagashira, and officials from the agriculture and forestry department of Fukuoka Prefectural Government to express our opinions on agricultural policy and petition him to allocate the government’s budget for the next fiscal year for land improvement projects. I would like to explain the process of formulating the government budget, the relationship between the government budget policy and political parties, and my role and determination as a politician:
(1) The process of formulating the government budget
The government is in the midst of preparing policy, budget and taxation for the next fiscal year (April 2022–March 2023) in each ministry, which is called the ‘draft budget request’. This ‘draft budget request’ will be completed by the end of July, and will officially be submitted to the Ministry of Finance by the end of August. Each ministry will go through intense negotiations with the Ministry of Finance regarding its ‘draft budget request’ from September through December. Usually, the ‘draft budget request’ will be agreed by the two ministries, and approved by the Cabinet by the end of December. It will then be treated as the ‘draft government budget’. As soon as the Diet starts early next year, 2022, the ‘draft government budget’ will be thoroughly discussed at the Budget Committee in the House of Representatives, and after the committee approves it, it will be submitted to the plenary session of the House of Representatives for further discussion. After the said plenary session approves it, it will then be submitted to the House of Councilors. In the House of Councilors, the same process carried out in the House of Representatives will be repeated. When the plenary session of the House of Councilors approves the ‘draft government budget’, it will finally be acknowledged as the government official budget. (Most probably, this plenary session will be held in late March as usual). The government official budget will be executed in FY2022 (From April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023).
(2) Relationship between the government budget policy and political parties
In all these administrative and parliamentary deliberation procedures mentioned above, the Liberal Democratic Party has overwhelming authority and responsibility as the ruling party. This means that the general election of members of the House of Representatives is extremely important because a ruling party which gains a majority in the election will hold the reins of government. (This also applies to the case of ruling coalition parties). This is why it is called the ‘general election’. Simultaneously, the determination and responsibility of the respective candidates who participate in the general election are strongly demanded. The candidates are usually authorized or recommended by the specific political parties. They always have to think about how to reflect local issues and needs in government’s budget policies (on-the-ground response) as well as how to deal with those policies from the perspective of the nation as a whole (national perspective).
(3) My role and determination as a politician
I have been engaged in administrative and parliamentary activities for long years, and here I am today. I will continue to fulfill my mission as a politician, and for that purpose, I will need the support of my local people. I am convinced that I can be of great help to all the people in my electoral district.