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Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.15 (February 1, 2007) ============================================================

"Hello, this is Shinzo Abe" -- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Shinzo AbeProfile Japanese

"A Willingness to Face Daunting Challenges and Persevere to See Them Through"

Hello, this is Shinzo Abe.

On January 26, I delivered a policy speech at the opening of the 166th session of the Diet.

"Mr. Shinzo Abe!" As the chairperson's voice rang out in the chamber, I stepped forward to the podium. Looking out to meet the earnest eyes of the Diet members who filled the hall I felt tense, but also fully ready to take on the challenge before me. Without a doubt, Diet members are especially spirited when the Diet comes into session.

In the limited amount of time allotted for the policy speech, the Government's principles and policies must be brought together both accurately and concisely. I wrote and rewrote my speech countless times as I debated where to place the focus and how to explain my policies persuasively amidst today's rapidly changing economic situation.

"A willingness to face daunting challenges and persevere to see them through."

These are the words of Yukichi Fukuzawa which I quoted in the closing of my speech.

Yukichi Fukuzawa once also stated, "Born to a samurai family, I have nurtured the samurai spirit through the education I received that has long been taught among the samurai families. The samurai spirit is the willingness to face daunting challenges. I pursued Western studies because it was a challenging subject. Had I encountered an even more challenging field, I might have studied that instead."

I identify my aspirations for the "creation of a beautiful country" with that spirit of standing up to the great challenges of realizing the Meiji Restoration, which led to our modern Japan.

Japan, setting out on a new course from the ruins of war, achieved what some called a miraculous economic recovery and established brilliant success models in fields such as the economy, education and employment. These post-war regimes, however, today are facing great challenges amidst shifting international parameters, rapid urbanization, globalization and the rise of information technology (IT). Undeniably, many people lost confidence and began to feel a sense of stagnation during the economic downturn of the "lost decade" after the bubble economy collapsed.

We must rise to our feet once again to build new regimes for the 21st century. We must delineate a new vision of a nation capable of withstanding the raging waves for the next 50 to 100 years to come, a society in which each and every one of us feels pride, meaningfulness and hope for tomorrow in our daily lives. I believe that I conveyed this message in my policy speech.

In all fields and workplaces, there are people who are giving their best effort to achieve a challenging task: those providing care to the elderly, those trying to start new companies even in the face of potential failure, those working in businesses of small to medium scale, those managing household duties and child-raising, those devoting themselves to protecting the people from crime and disasters, those working hard at study, and those battling illnesses or handicaps. I pledge to listen sincerely to the voices of such people, and I am determined to give my utmost efforts to meet their expectations.

The debates have already started in the Diet session. I will provide explanations on each and every one of my nation-building policies as clearly and comprehensibly as possible.

[What's New in Government Internet TV]

- Supporting the Next Generation of Aircraft

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Policy Speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the 166th Session of the Diet (January 26, 2007)
Prime Minister Abe said, "my mission is none other than to draw a new vision of a nation which can withstand the raging waves for the next 50 to 100 years to come."

- Statement by Prime Minister Abe on the "Direction and Strategy for the Japanese Economy" (Cabinet Decision) (January 25, 2007)

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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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