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Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.36 (July 5, 2007) ============================================================

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

Prime Minister Shinzo AbeProfile Japanese

162 Days of Achievement

Hello, this is Shinzo Abe.

Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma offered to take responsibility for the remarks he made recently, and acknowledging the weight of his decision, I accepted his resignation.

We Japanese must never forget the feelings of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who have suffered the consequences of being attacked with nuclear weapons. As the only country in the world ever to have suffered from nuclear devastation, our nation must play a leading role in the effort to realize a nuclear-free world.

I have appointed Ms. Yuriko Koike as Mr. Kyuma's successor. Ms. Koike has assisted me in the security field and has strong connections with defense and foreign ministers abroad. She possesses a thorough knowledge of security policy.

I reaffirm my determination to promote the policies of my Administration and to press ahead with reforms, working together with all Cabinet members to achieve results.

Being Prime Minister is a solitary job that requires one to make decisions alone. As such, every week I very much look forward to reading the comments from the readers of this e-mail magazine. I find both your criticisms and your support greatly encouraging.

In last week's e-mail magazine, I shared my thoughts on taking all the actions that need to be taken, ceaselessly and in a simple and honest fashion. In response, I received many messages of encouragement.

As I promised in that same message, at the end of last week the Diet passed into law the bill for abolishing the statute of limitation on pensions, the Social Insurance Agency reform bill and the bill for reforming the civil servant system. Their passage is not our final goal, but it is a starting point. Now comes the important part. I will further tighten the reins in order to carry out my duties steadfastly.

The verification of pension records will, as I have stated, be completed "within a year." The Government is making its utmost efforts in proceeding so as to conclude this operation at the soonest date possible. I will see to it that all pension subscribers are notified of their pension payment history as early as possible within the next year.

As for the reform of the civil service, we will eliminate, as we must, the intrusive practice of intermediation, which results in the problem of retired civil servants landing executive positions in the private sector. There will be no more influence peddling. Furthermore, we will make sure that the government entities adopt a fully meritocratic system and the public sector utilizes human resources from the private sector. We are about to embark on this huge reform. The real challenge is upon us.

The Diet, which has been sitting for 162 days, comes to the end of its session today.

During the current Diet session, we were able to pass the national referendum bill into law, establishing the legislation necessary for the revision of the Constitution. We also succeeded in enacting the FY2007 budget, which included the largest ever reduction in government bond issuance, amounting to 4.5 trillion yen, as well as a package of three bills for education rebuilding, including one stipulating a renewal system for teaching licenses.

My vision for education rebuilding is to guarantee every child in the country the opportunity to acquire a high academic capability and strong sense of discipline. A new era in education has just begun.

In parallel with the Diet deliberations, I enthusiastically advanced my advocacy of "proactive diplomacy." Japan's proposal for global warming countermeasures was reflected in the G8 statement last month, and Japan will display leadership on this issue at the 2008 Hokkaido Toyako Summit.

Working steadily to carry out, one by one, all the actions that need to be taken, not for mere show but in order to thoroughly achieve results -- this, I believe, is the sense of responsibility that accompanies power.

I will not fail to fulfill my commitments. I will discharge my responsibilities in a straightforward manner.

[What's New in Government Internet TV]

- Prime Minister's Week in Review (June 18 to 24, 2007)

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- 1st General Meeting of the 29th Local Government System Research Council (July 3, 2007)
Prime Minister Abe said, "It is vital that we develop a local government system . . . and realize a structure in which the core basic local governments can play a leading role in community building."

- Awards Ceremony to Present the Prime Minister's Commendations on Contributors to Public Safety (July 2, 2007)
At this year's awards ceremony, 25 individuals and organizations were presented with commendations on their achievements.

- Prime Minister Attends the Plenary Session of the House of Representatives (June 29, 2007)
In the plenary session of the House of Councillors that resumed at midnight on June 30, a number of key bills were passed and enacted.

- Statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the Passing of Former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa (June 28, 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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