Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.33 (June 14, 2007) ============================================================
"Hello, this is Shinzo Abe" -- Message from the Prime Minister
This week, I would like to begin with a report on the G8 Summit 2007 in Heiligendamm.
Heiligendamm -- the name may have been unfamiliar to some of you -- is a resort area on the Baltic coast of northern Germany. In stark contrast to this quiet seaside setting, the discussions that took place among the world leaders gathered at the venue were quite heated.
Some of you may be under the impression that at summit meetings the leaders of the various countries just read word-for-word from prewritten scripts, but that is a far cry from the reality. Although the subjects on the agenda for discussion are decided in advance, the leaders discuss the issues frankly, drawing on their own insights. I too shared actively my own sense of values with the leaders of each nation. Summit meetings are a real proving ground for these skills and qualities.
As expected, the climate change issue was a major subject of discussion at Heiligendamm. The differences in opinion among countries were not narrowed during the working-level negotiations, known as the "Sherpa process," and everything was carried over to the leaders' meeting.
I first of all introduced the other leaders to my own new proposal, "Cool Earth 50," which I touched upon in last week's e-mail magazine.
I appealed to them to embrace a long-term target of "cutting greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2050." I also presented three principles for establishing a new framework for reaching this target: participation of all major emitters; flexibility to take into consideration the circumstances of each nation; and compatibility between environmental protection and economic growth.
Members of the European Union (EU) are calling to establish clear numerical targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the United States is reluctant to establish such targets at the present stage. Although considerable differences remain among the countries' points of view, all the leaders shared the awareness that we can no longer postpone dealing with this issue, and engaged enthusiastically in discussions with this common sense of responsibility.
It was a truly groundbreaking event that the United States, the largest CO2 emitter, took a positive stance toward global warming countermeasures. I highly evaluated this U.S. position at my meeting with President Bush on the eve of the G8 Summit. The President and I agreed that our nations will lead the world in the field of technological innovation, and that to that end we will further strengthen our cooperation in that sphere. I am convinced that this agreement between the President and me made a significant contribution to the final consensus-building among the G8 leaders.
The result was that I successfully got each of the three principles that I presented reflected in the G8 statement. The statement also stipulated that each country will "consider seriously" Japan's proposal, including the numerical targets.
I am confident that my proposal obtained the understanding of emerging economies as well, including China and India. Great expectations were expressed for the financial mechanism for extending wide-ranging support to developing countries with high aspirations.
The world leaders at the Summit also discussed approaches to various regional issues, including the situations in the Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Sudan. In the course of these discussions on political situations, we were able to develop an international common recognition on North Korea. We were also able to convey a clear message to North Korea for the resolution of the nuclear and abduction issues.
Although it was my first G8 Summit, I felt a sense of engagement and participation in the process.
It will be my turn to host next year's Summit in Toyako, Hokkaido. I take it as my mission to produce even greater results based on the achievements of this year's Summit.
On the home front, I know that the dissatisfaction and anxiety of many people concerning the problems surrounding the nation's pension records remain unresolved. Every day I am keenly aware of the fact that the Social Insurance Agency has absolutely not provided the service expected of it from the public standpoint, as well as the fact that we in the Government have not provided sufficient oversight.
The present problems are the result of many years of successive cabinets not taking measures due to inefficiencies and negligence. My Cabinet, however, will make a clean break from these adverse practices and resolve each problem without fail.
Making progress on this situation is the responsibility of my Cabinet. The Government's checks will continue until the very last record has been verified, and we will ensure that everyone receives their full pension. I am firmly determined to do everything in my power to fulfill this commitment.
- Prime Minister's Week in Review (May 28 to June 4, 2007)
- Landing Examination Procedures for Japan are Changing!
- 1st Meeting of the Headquarters for Promoting Decentralization Reform (June 11, 2007)
- G8 Summit 2007 Heiligendamm, Germany (June 6 to 8, 2007)
- Reader's Comment on the e-mail magazine is available only to the subscribers.
- Click below to make comments on administration of Japan
|Subscription||Back to the Top of the Abe Cabinet E-Mail Magazine|