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Furthermore, in order to overcome the historic yen appreciation and long-standing deflation, the Government will further strengthen its ties with the Bank of Japan that undertakes monetary policy and seamlessly undertake economic and fiscal management.With the future of the world economy remaining uncertain, it is a momentous challenge for Japan, now with a declining population, to realise robust economic growth. However, that is all the more why we must calmly examine the Japanese economy's potential and draw up a clear vision for embarking on this challenge among diverse stakeholders. To this end, the Council on National Strategy and Policy will speed up the implementation of the New Growth Strategy. In addition, the Strategy for Rebirth of Japan, which will set forth a concrete roadmap toward new growth, will be formulated by the middle of the year and steadily implemented jointly by the public and private sectors. nThis is an edited version of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Policy Speech to the 180th Session of the Diet on January 24, 2012. Source: Cabinet Secretariat.G8 MEMBER COUNTRIES 027

Building a Strong Society in the Changing WorldVladimir Putin, Prime Minister and President-Elect, The Russian Federation According to our overview of the past four years, we can state with confidence that Russia has not only recovered from the crisis but has also made a significant step forward. We have become stronger.In the course of the past election campaign I listed our priorities, at least as I saw them as a presidential candidate. My first presidential decree will include a roadmap for all the initiatives that I announced. Moreover, work on them has already begun. I believe that we must focus on the issues of strategic, fundamental importance that have to do with our historical prospects as a nation. Firstly, it is the demographic situation in Russia. Every Russian citizen counts today. We must realise that we will face a serious challenge to the demographic echo of the 1990s, when the country saw its most severe demographic decline. We need to take new decisive steps to maintain and raise our population numbers. However, unless we revive the traditional attitude to basic moral values, no socio-economic policy will produce stable results. The efforts of the state, society, religious, educational and cultural organisations should be aimed at promoting a strong, prosperous family with children.Secondly, Russia has the world's largest territory. We must preserve and protect our territory from external threats and provide modern living and working conditions in all the country's regions. We must pay a great deal of attention to the development of the Far East and Eastern Siberia. This is an essential geopolitical task. We need to ensure higher growth of the gross regional product in Siberia and the Far East as compared to the growth of the national GDP. This trend needs to " The 21st century promises to become the age of new geopolitical, financial, economic, cultural and civilisation centres "continue for at least 10 to 15 years. Certainly, we will try to achieve a stable demographic increase in these regions instead of an outflow that is still observed. Its pace is decreasing, but, unfortunately, the outflow is still there. We must ensure population growth. We are now discussing the establishment of a specialised agency that will coordinate and oversee the implementation of projects aimed at developing the Far East and Eastern Siberia. The decisions will be submitted soon.Our third priority is the creation of new and sound jobs. Millions of people are now employed in outdated, ineffective workplaces with low wages and zero prospects. We must provide them with other jobs, interesting and well-paid, which can give them high living standards, good pay and the opportunity to support a large family. The average real wages in Russia need to grow by at least 37-41 per cent by 2020. We must also encourage active employment of people with disabilities, which requires building a nationwide barrier-free environment. We have adopted such a programme and you are aware of this.Creating sound jobs is essential to meet the demands of our human resources. An extensive middle class is a key for victory over poverty. This is an opportunity for millions of people to fulfil their dreams and it is a way to a true diversification of the national economy.Hence, our fourth basic goal is to build a new economy. It is not fourth in terms of importance. In terms of importance, this is probably the key one. The economy must be stable and capable of showing qualitative growth under tough competition. We must be prepared for any external shocks. As Pictured: PutinCredit: UMP photo028 g8 member countries