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Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.46 (September 13, 2007) ============================================================

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

Prime Minister Shinzo AbeProfile Japanese


For the Sake of Advancing Reform and the Fight against Terrorism


I have made the decision to resign from my position as Prime Minister of Japan.

The House of Councillors election on July 29 delivered a very harsh result; nonetheless, I resolved to remain in my position out of the conviction that the momentum of reform must not be halted, and that the move to break away from the post-war regimes must not alter its course. I thus continued to make my very best efforts for the country as Prime Minister, right up until the present.

Furthermore, I announced on the occasion of the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Sydney that the fight against terrorism, for which the international community has great expectations of the role played by Japan and for which Japan has gained strong appreciation from the international community, must not be suspended. At that time I stressed the need to continue our activity, whatever it takes.

Contributing to the international community lies at the very core of my "Proactive Diplomacy," and it is my responsibility to carry through this policy at all costs. I therefore announced that I would stake my position on doing everything to ensure that there is no suspension of Japan's activity.

I have always believed that I have to make every possible effort to continue the fight against terrorism, and likewise that I need to work to the fullest to create the appropriate environment for this. I have been fully prepared to relinquish my post if need be to advance these aims.

So I asked myself what I should do.

There has to be a change in the current situation, and I realized this was the responsibility that had been given to me.

My determination was to continue to advance reform, and it was from this determination that I remained at my post and reshuffled the Cabinet. However, under the current situation it has become very difficult to advance Government policy vigorously with the trust and support of the people. I therefore reached the conclusion that I had to make a breakthrough in the situation by acting to take responsibility.

I decided that my aim should be for the fight against terrorism to continue under the leadership of a new prime minister; I also decided that in order to bring change to the current state of affairs it would be better for a new prime minister to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations at the end of this month.

I concluded that putting off a decision would only make the problem worse and I had to make a decision as soon as possible.

Some may perhaps call my decision irresponsible. However, I made up my mind that it would be in the very best interests of the nation, and of the people of Japan, for me to step down from my position as Prime Minister at this juncture.

I would like to thank all of the readers of this e-mail magazine, as well as all the Japanese people, for your support over the space of roughly a year.

I will never forget the unreserved views and the heart-warming encouragement that were so generously extended to me during that period.

I will leave the Prime Minster's Office, but reform and the fight against terrorism will continue unabated. In closing, I ask that you continue to support these vital areas of our nation's policy.


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[What's New in Government Internet TV]

- Prime Minister's Week in Review (August 27 to September 2, 2007)
http://nettv.gov-online.go.jp/prg/prg1377.html

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[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Press Conference by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (September 12, 2007)
http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/abespeech/index_e.html

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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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