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Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.2 (October 19, 2006) ============================================================

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

Prime Minister Shinzo AbeProfile Japanese

For the return of all abductees

Hello, this is Shinzo Abe.

On October 15 (October 14 local time) the United Nations (UN) Security Council, under Japan's chairmanship, unanimously adopted a strong resolution condemning the nuclear test proclaimed by North Korea. In this way, the international community was able to swiftly issue a clear message that it will not tolerate the possession of nuclear weapons by North Korea.

As Japan strongly underscored the importance of simultaneously addressing the abduction issue, this matter was included in the preamble of the UN Security Council resolution through the following reference: "Underlining the importance that the DPRK respond to . . . humanitarian concerns of the international community." It is of great significance that the international community has thus elevated the abduction issue to one of extreme importance.

Abduction is an unparalleled act of state criminality, as well as a grave violation of the sovereignty of Japan and the lives of its people. We absolutely cannot condone it.

It was roughly 20 years ago that I first encountered the abduction issue, when Ms. Keiko Arimoto's parents visited my father's office where I was working as a secretary. I was not sure at the time if I could believe my ears when I heard that a nation had abducted nationals of another country. With further investigation, however, I had no choice but to believe that it was indeed a heinous act conducted by North Korea, and was equally shocked that Japan had left this issue untouched.

Since then, there has never been a time, either before I entered politics or since, when this issue has not been close to my heart. I am driven by a strong determination to one day find a resolution.

Last year, I went to an exhibition featuring photos of Ms. Megumi Yokota. She seemed very happy in the photographs taken with her family, and my heart sank to think that the future of this girl wearing such a bright smile was taken away from her at age 13.

Many years have passed since her abduction and her parents have reached their senior years. We no longer have a moment to spare.

This past Monday, October 16, I convened the first meeting of the headquarters in charge of the abduction issue. I serve as chair of this body, which is comprised of all the Cabinet ministers, and at the opening session we discussed the policies to be taken in order to resolve the abduction issue. It is the responsibility of the Cabinet to protect the people's lives, well-being and property. I am determined to fulfill this responsibility. The abductees are still in North Korea, alive. We will pool our collective wisdom and make every effort conceivable to bring back all the abductees.

The first meeting of the Education Rebuilding Council was held yesterday, October 18. Restrengthening Japan's education system is one of the most important items on the Cabinet's agenda. The meeting took place with the attendance of 17 intellectuals who have deep insight in the field of education, under the chairmanship of Dr. Ryoji Noyori, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

There seems to be no end to heart-wrenching news such as children committing suicide because they were bullied. Experts today point to declines in children's morals and academic abilities, and the families and communities in which children grow up are said to be less and less capable at filling the educational roles they once did.

Education is essential for the future of our children. It is our responsibility to guarantee that all children have the opportunity to acquire a high academic ability and sense of discipline as they look to the future.

[What's New in Government Internet TV]
- Asakusa stroll

- Prime Minister Abe visits China (Chinese)

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- 1st Meeting of the Education Rebuilding Council (October 18, 2006)
Prime Minister Abe requested that the council deliberate on fundamental policies to rebuild education in order to realize the creation of a beautiful country.

- Prime Minister Receives a Courtesy Call from the Members of the New Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century (October 17, 2006)
Prime Minister Abe received a courtesy call from Mr. Yotaro Kobayashi, the Committee.

- 1st Meeting of the Headquarters on the Abduction Issue (October 16, 2006)
Prime Minister Abe addressed, "The abduction issue is a violation against the sovereignty of Japan and the lives of its people, and is an issue that we categorically cannot condone."

- Meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (October 13, 2006)
Prime Minister Abe said, "It is critical to design growth strategies, continue the reforms, and demonstrate such efforts at home and abroad."

- Prime Minister Honors Contributors to the Building of Safe and Reassuring Communities (October 11, 2006)
Prime Minister Abe said, "I hope you will further strive to maintain the safety and reassurance of our communities with the awards as a fresh momentum."

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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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