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Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine inaugural preparatory issue (October 5, 2006) ============================================================

[Hello, this is Shinzo Abe] -- Message from Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Shinzo AbeProfile Japanese

Inauguration of the "Cabinet for the creation of a beautiful country"

Hello, this is Shinzo Abe.

I assumed office as Japan's 90th Prime Minister on September 26, 2006. As the first Japanese Prime Minister born in the postwar years, I am bracing myself to shoulder the heavy responsibilities entrusted to me. I accept the expectations of the people of Japan fully, and I will stake my life on carrying out my duties.

I intend to do my utmost to conduct governance on behalf of all the people who every day live by the sweat of their brows, love their families, want to believe in the future, and who wish to improve their own communities. This is precisely why I have formed a "Cabinet for the creation of a beautiful country."

Once, when Albert Einstein visited Japan, he said, "It is my sincere wish that the Japanese people keep intact and never forget those traits which you have intrinsically possessed: humbleness and simplicity essential to an individual, pure and calm Japanese heart."

Japan possesses beautiful nature, long history, culture, and traditions, which we should be proud of in the world. I believe it is fully possible to build a country which retains the Japanese virtues which Einstein admired, and filled with charm and vitality. I believe that the Japanese people have the ability to realize this.

I aim to create a country in which tomorrow will be better and more prosperous than today. I will endeavor to create "a beautiful country, Japan," a country trusted and respected by countries around the world, a country whose people can feel proud to call it their own.

This initiative of sending out messages directly from the prime minister to the people through an e-mail magazine was launched by the Koizumi Cabinet. As its first chief editor, every week I contemplated what kind of message we should be sending and what kind of magazine structure was best for the people to easily understand the policies of the Cabinet. I myself shared quite a few of my own opinions in the editor's note.

The responses of the readers were sharp. I received a huge response when my own opinions were incorporated, including arguments for and against my views. It truly made me realize the importance of direct dialogue.

I have cherished the opportunities to talk with a diverse set of people even after I was no longer the editor of the e-mail magazine.

Indeed I met many extraordinary people. There were people who took on new life challenges in agriculture after changing jobs. People who are now active in the world of traditional culture in their post-retirement years. There were also those who are helping delinquent children to find jobs and people who had been homeless but pulled themselves back together. Then there were the "freeters" (job-hopping part-timers) aiming to start their own businesses and wheelchair users making an appeal for the creation of communities in which disabled people may leave their homes with a sense of reassurance. I also met people at companies actively taking measures to employ the elderly.

I had great opportunities to speak with many people from all corners of Japan. All the opinions of the people who are attempting to challenge themselves in one endeavor or another are indeed inspiring and useful.

Rather than mere theoretical discussions I believe opening our ears to what various people have to say is important to understand the people's needs, what troubles them, what gives them a hard time, or what stands against them. Understanding these points will lead to the measures that the people truly want.

I will listen carefully to the people and create a country we can have self-confidence and pride in. I would like to provide people a clear vision of what the Government is thinking and what it is trying to accomplish in my own words and with a spirit of challenge and enthusiasm.

This e-mail magazine is an essential hotline that directly links the people and my Cabinet. I will take full advantage of the e-mail magazine to give readers insights into this open Cabinet as well as a better chance to see who I am as a person.

Please feel free to send us your comments about the Government.

On the morning of October 3, the day before yesterday, I made a donation to the Central Community Chest of Japan. A high school girl who came to my office kindly pinned a red feather to my jacket. I must say this was a nice refreshing break from the tension of the daily deliberations in the Diet.

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Prime Minister Meets with Family Members of the Abductees (September 29 2006)
Immediately after the inauguration of the Abe Cabinet, discussions took place on measures concerning the abduction issue and it was decided to establish the Headquarters.

- Policy Speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the 165th Session of the Diet (September 29, 2006)
Prime Minister Abe said, "I believe it is fully possible to build a 21st century Japan, which retains the Japanese virtues which Einstein admired, and filled with charm and vitality."

- Decision of Senior-Vice Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries (September 27, 2006)
At the extraordinary Cabinet meeting, the senior-vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries of the Abe Cabinet were decided.

- Inauguration of the Abe Cabinet (September 26, 2006)
Mr. Shinzo Abe was appointed as the Prime Minister at plenary sessions of both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.

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General Editor: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Chief Editor: Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Hiroshige Seko
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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