Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.22 (March 22, 2007) ============================================================
"Hello, this is Shinzo Abe" -- Message from the Prime Minister
The graduation season is now upon us. Parents must be extremely proud watching as their children grow up strong and move on to the next stage in their lives.
The graduation ceremony of the National Defense Academy was held on March 18. It was the first time I attended the academy's graduation ceremony as Prime Minister, and the first holding of the event since the Defense Agency became the Ministry of Defense. The students of the academy have made a resolute decision to work to keep Japan safe. I felt powerfully moved when I stood in front of these young men and women with their eyes shining full of ambition.
In my address I quoted from the memoirs of Winston Churchill, who was the Prime Minister of the U.K. during World War II, and congratulated the graduates, saying, "I want you to be thoughtful and resolute officers." I told them, "In the face of crises you may encounter in the future, it will not be enough to merely look right and left and choose the middle path as a clear-cut solution. You will need to analyze each situation precisely to make accurate decisions based on what you believe."
In 1960 then-Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, my grandfather, followed through on his commitment to revising the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty despite widespread opposition. In my view he was able to achieve this because, believing it was the right thing to do, he had the strength of conviction to promote the policy himself and a resolute sense of his mission to protect Japan and its people no matter how much opposition there was.
I am deeply conscious that my ultimate responsibilities as Prime Minister are to protect the lives and property of the people of Japan and to contribute to the peace and stability of the world. The reality is that we face challenges such as regional conflicts and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In particular, we face the issues of the abduction of Japanese nationals, nuclear development, and the firing of ballistic missiles by North Korea. Indeed, we live in unpredictable and uncertain times.
We must constantly think about the most effective modes of security to respond to such uncertainties.
On March 13, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and I signed the Japan-Australia Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation. As a partner in the Asia-Pacific region that has cooperated with Japan on many issues including reconstruction assistance to Iraq and the fight against terrorism, Australia is an extremely important country for Japan not only for economic reasons, but also in terms of security.
Another important task I must carry out is to maintain and further strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance as the basis of Japan's diplomacy and to deepen our relationships of trust with those countries that share with Japan the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, basic human rights, and rule of law.
"Courage is Doing What is Right."
These are words from Nitobe Inazo's work "Bushido: The Soul of Japan" that I used to conclude my address to the National Defense Academy graduates. I believe that they express a principle that I too should follow as the person entrusted with the leadership of this country.
- Asteroid Adventure: The HAYABUSA Mission
- Prime Minister's Week in Review (March 5 to 11, 2007)
- Japan-Singapore Summit Meeting (March 19, 2007)
- Prime Minister Delivers an Address at the National Defense
Academy Graduation Ceremony (March 18, 2007)
- United Nations Young Civic Ambassadors Pay Courtesy Call on the
Prime Minister (March 16, 2007)
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