Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 242 (July 13, 2006)
[Lion Heart -- Message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi]
On July 11, I left Tokyo and arrived in Jerusalem, Israel. This is my first visit to Jerusalem, the city known for its rich history where lies the holy sites for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In the evening as I admired the beautiful cityscape decorated harmoniously with stone buildings and abundant greenery from the hotel balcony, I felt as if I could hear from somewhere the evening prayers of various religions.
Early in the morning yesterday, I visited the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial which preserves the memory and story of the Jewish people during the Holocaust period. I offered flowers with a strong recognition of the importance of peace and a deep conviction that such tragedy must never be repeated.
At the memorial there was a tree planted in honor of Mr. Chiune Sugihara, who continued to issue visas necessary for Jewish people to flee the country during his tenure as Vice-Consul at the Japanese Consulate in Lithuania.
That same day Hezbollah forces in Lebanon attacked northern Israel. Despite the tense situation, I met Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel as scheduled.
Prime Minister Olmert and I frankly exchanged our views on the cooperative relations between Japan and Israel, as well as issues affecting the peace and stability of the Middle East and of the world, such as North Korea's missile issue and Iran's nuclear issue.
There may be a limit to what Japan can do in its capacity, but we can still provide cooperation that is unique to Japan for the peace and prosperity of the Middle East. I have proposed the Corridor of Peace and Prosperity, an initiative which will contribute to the peace and stability of the region through such measures aimed at enhancing the living standards of the people in the region. Prime Minister Olmert and I agreed that Japan, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan would start a four-party talk on this initiative.
Today, I am scheduled to meet President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. Japan's support for the development of Palestine and promoting peace in the Middle East are on the agenda of our talks.
Then I will be visiting His Majesty King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Marouf Bakhet of Jordan who are staying in the coastal town of Aqaba. We will be meeting to discuss a range of matters such as our bilateral relations and the international situation including the Middle East situation.
From the 15th, I will be attending the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city. This is the first time that the G8 Summit will be convened in Russia and my sixth and last time to attend the summit. A diverse set of topics will be discussed, including counter-terrorism measures, efforts to achieve both environmental protection and economic development, energy, and issues concerning North Korea.
At the same time, we must remember that the G8 Summit is not a meeting solely for the developed countries. It is a meeting to achieve further advancements, peace, and stability in all countries of the world including the developing countries. I will engage in intensive discussions over three days on various issues, giving close consideration to the role of Japan and the responsibility we shoulder as a major power of the world.
A series of terrorist explosions targeting trains in Mumbai, India occurred two days ago. Such contemptible terrorist acts cannot be tolerated. It is essential that countries around the world coordinate and cooperate to fight the threats against world peace and stability, such as North Korea's abduction and missile issues. As a responsible member of the international community, Japan intends to reinforce its coordination with the countries participating in the summit and countries around the world to take responsible actions for the peace and prosperity of the world.
* The title of this column "Lion Heart" is a reference to the Prime Minister's lion-like hairstyle and his unbending determination to advance structural reform.
- Delightful Japan
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- Japan-Afghanistan Summit Meeting (July 5, 2006)
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