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Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.44 (August 30, 2007) ============================================================

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

Prime Minister Shinzo AbeProfile Japanese

A Cabinet that Puts Policies into Action

This week I reshuffled the Cabinet as a result of my acceptance of the criticism voiced by the people in last month's House of Councillors election. With the introduction of the new Cabinet I will make a fresh start on the creation of a beautiful and new country. This is also a new start for the advancement of reforms.

I am firmly resolved to do everything in my power, together with the new Cabinet members, to win back the people's trust in politics and in the administration -- trust that has been lost because of inappropriate remarks made by some former Cabinet members and the problems surrounding political funding and pension records.

We must continue our endeavors to increase the level of transparency in political funding. Accordingly, I am determined to work on revising the Political Funds Control Law.

Should questions be raised on a Cabinet member's political funding in the future, I will make certain that the person in question will fully explain the situation to the people. The members of my Cabinet have taken up their posts in readiness to leave the Cabinet in the event that they are unable to provide satisfactory explanations.

On the problems surrounding the nation's pension records, I will ensure that the Government will continue to check until the very last record has been verified and will make certain that everyone receives their full pension. I fully expect Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Yoichi Masuzoe to thoroughly discharge his duties in this endeavor.

The recent election also revealed the people's strong sentiment that politics should pay greater consideration to the disparities existing between the central and local regions.

We must heed the voices of the people in local regions, humbly accept their opinions and respond to them with policies. My expectation for Mr. Hiroya Masuda, who has joined my Cabinet as the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications and has had experience as a prefectural governor, is to reflect these voices directly in Government policies.

The members of the new Cabinet will visit the regions and lend their ear to the people, who are feeling the pain that comes with reform, in order to represent their voices in policies in a conscientious manner.

While reflecting upon these lessons, we must continue with the reforms. This is my unflinching belief.

We have a responsibility to future generations. As Japan's population declines and the globalization of the economy continues, we must resolutely push reforms ahead now, difficult though it may be, to ensure our nation's continued development in the future.

My policy remains unchanged. In full light of the changes that are now taking place, I am determined to boldly reexamine from the starting point the various structures -- with the Constitution at the apex -- established after the end of World War II, including the education and civil servant systems.

In the diplomatic arena, I am determined to advance my advocacy of "proactive diplomacy" even more strongly. The international community has high expectations for Japan's contributions. I firmly believe that Japan must continue to fulfill its responsibility to world peace and security.

The new Cabinet will steadily put these policies into action.

I have also reaffirmed my conviction that we must explain the content of these policies to the public as clearly as possible to gain their understanding. I pledge to ensure that the new Cabinet always listens to the voices of the people and fully endeavors to meet their expectations.

Although the positions of the ruling and opposition parties are now reversed in the House of Councillors, the desire to put better policies into action for the benefit of the people is the common wish that transcends everyone's affiliation, whether it be with the ruling or the opposition camp. I am firmly resolved to advance the building of our nation while squarely developing discussions with the opposition parties and making every effort to gain their understanding.

[What's New in Government Internet TV]

- Prime Minister's Week in Review (August 13 to 18, 2007)

- Japanese Sweets Gallery WAGASHI

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Japan-Germany Summit Meeting (August 29, 2007)

- Decision of Senior Vice-Ministers (August 29, 2007)

- Joint Memorial Service by the Cabinet and Liberal Democratic Party for the Late Mr. Kiichi Miyazawa (August 28, 2007)

- Inauguration of the Reshuffled Abe Cabinet (August 27, 2007)

- Press Conference by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Following His Visits to Indonesia, India and Malaysia (August 24, 2007)

- Prime Minister Visits Indonesia, India and Malaysia
(India and Malaysia) (August 21 to 25, 2007)

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General Editor: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matushige Oono
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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