Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.42 (August 16, 2007) ============================================================
"Hello, this is Shinzo Abe" -- Message from the Prime Minister
I hope that you are all keeping well in the lingering heat of this particularly hot summer.
According to the traditional Japanese calendar, we are now in the late summer season, but in reality the summer is now reaching its peak. The chirring of cicadas on the trees around my office is growing louder and louder by the day.
People everywhere pass their summer in various ways -- visiting family in their hometown, traveling, relaxing at home, working or studying.
When I was a child, I used to spend the summers with my parents at the house where my father grew up in the San'in region (Japan Sea side of western Honshu). Each year as summer approached, I eagerly awaited the day of departure.
The mountains and rivers of my memories; the smell of summer grass and the scent of trees; catching cicadas; bathing in the sea; summer festivals; the taste of watermelon sprinkled with salt -- even today, the memories of summers spent when I was growing up have not faded from my mind.
One of the highlights of summer in Japan is the All-Japan High School Baseball Championship Tournament at Koshien. As every year, this year there have been fiercely fought games taking place day after day. I am sure everyone agrees that we all naturally feel a particularly intense excitement when cheering on our local high school team.
Win or lose, all the players, when they look back on the tournament, must find it an irreplaceably valuable experience. After these summer experiences they will certainly have grown as people.
The students' summer vacations move into their final stretch once the Obon holiday is over. I can recall many occasions when I thought that summer vacation was only half over, and then, in an instant, it was finished. I am sure I am not the only one who has memories of desperately struggling to complete a pile of homework at the vacation's end.
In that state of mind, this year I decided to spend my time during the Obon period in my office.
In the usual run of events, I like to relax during the Obon holiday. But I have an overseas visit to make next week, and also, I would like to devote some time now to profoundly contemplate how to best reflect the people's voice in Government policies in response to the recent election result.
Yesterday marked the 62nd anniversary of the end of World War II. I attended the annual Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead, where I offered my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of the war dead and paid a silent tribute.
The present peace and prosperity of Japan are built on the precious sacrifices made by those who lost their lives to the war.
I reaffirmed my determination to keep protecting the peace we enjoy today and actively contribute to the realization of a permanent world peace.
- Prime Minister's Week in Review (July 30 to August 5, 2007)
- Prime Minister Attends the Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead
(August 15, 2007)
- Award Ceremony to Present the Prime Minister's Commendations
for the Award of Japan for Crafting (August 10, 2007)
- Prime Minister Attends Nagasaki Peace Ceremony (August 9, 2007)
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