Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine Inauguration issue (October 12, 2006) ============================================================
[Hello, this is Shinzo Abe] -- Message from Prime Minister
Yesterday, Japan decided to take tough measures against North Korea, including banning all North Korean vessels from entering Japanese ports and implementing a total ban on the import of goods from North Korea.
I unequivocally condemn North Korea's provocative action, which runs counter to my mandate as Prime Minister to protect the lives and assets of the people of Japan. North Korea's missile capability combined with its nuclear capability pose a large threat to regional security, and in particular, they greatly threaten the national security of Japan. North Korea also has not demonstrated a sincere attitude toward the abduction issue.
Consequently, the situation demanded that Japan adopt harsh measures. I strongly hope North Korea will immediately heed the voice of the international community and act as a responsible member of the international community. At the same time I will continue to make every effort to maintain the peace and security of Japan and the region, in coordination with the international community.
The measures are aimed at protecting the safety of the people as well as the peace of Japan, and I ask for your understanding and cooperation in this regard.
The Abe Cabinet has been in full gear since its inauguration. While devoting myself wholeheartedly to the Diet deliberations each and every day, I took advantage of the long weekend and held my first meetings with the leaders of China and South Korea.
I believe this whirlwind visit of 36 hours spent outside of Japan and my first summit diplomacy produced fruitful and productive meetings.
Japan is an Asian nation. As such, I do and will cherish the exchanges with the countries of Asia. For this reason, too, I chose Japan's important neighbors China and South Korea as the destination of my first overseas visit as Prime Minister.
On October 8, I had separate talks in Beijing with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. At our meetings we opened our hearts to each other and engaged in frank discussions.
I am certain that the Chinese leaders fully welcomed my proposal to build a relationship of even more mutual cooperation for the peace and prosperity of Asia and the entire world with an eye on the future.
Next year will mark the 35th anniversary of the normalization of relations between Japan and China. I will use this milestone as an opportunity to significantly enhance and promote active cultural and sports exchanges, and above all, people-to-people exchanges. I very much hope all of you will participate in the exchanges.
On October 9, I met with South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun and Prime Minister Han Myeong Sook in Seoul. On the way from Beijing, very disheartening news came in that North Korea declared it had conducted a nuclear test. I immediately discussed this matter with President Roh, allotting much of our time to this crisis. In addition, I made an urgent phone call to President George W. Bush. The leaders and I confirmed that we would firmly address this issue through international coordination.
The most important part of my job is to protect the safety of the people. Let me make it clear that there will be no compromise on this situation and I will do everything I can as the leader of this nation to ensure the peace and security of Japan and the world.
I received a phone call from U.S. President Bush right after I assumed the office of Prime Minister and I remember him telling me, "We both have wonderful wives." The point is that in order to foster friendships between countries, the contributions of First Ladies go hand in hand with those of state leaders and such contributions must not go unnoticed.
While I was in my meetings, my wife Akie visited a junior high school and an elementary school in Beijing and Seoul, respectively, and enjoyed a pleasant time with the children. The smiles on children's faces are priceless everywhere in the world. I am sure the warm reception Akie received at the places she visited was for her an invaluable experience.
Premier Wen and Mrs. Wen as well as President Roh and Mrs. Roh kindly invited us to a dinner banquet, and they were the most agreeable and heartwarming evenings of my demanding schedule. I made my best attempt to thank President Roh and Mrs. Roh in Korean, which went:
Baro iutsatyonimnida (Neighbors are like cousins).
This week, too, I am giving my wholehearted commitment to the Diet deliberations.
- Prime Minister Visits South Korea (October 9, 2006)
- Prime Minister Visits China (October 8, 2006)
- Filming of "Prime Minister Abe's Live Talk Kantei" (October 6, 2006)
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- Click below to make comments on administration of Japan
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