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Fukuda Cabinet E-Mail Magazine No.2 (October 18, 2007) ============================================================

"This is Yasuo Fukuda. A week has passed since my last message and I hope this finds you all well."
-- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Yasuo FukudaProfile Japanese

This is Yasuo Fukuda. A week has passed since my last message and I hope this finds you all well.

Now that autumn is truly upon us and the thermometers are dropping, I trust you will all take good care not to catch a cold.

Many of you might be familiar with the term "Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law" or have heard of it on TV or in the newspapers. Yesterday, the Government decided to approve a new bill that defines the conditions for continuing the activities of the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) in the Indian Ocean. Now that this decision has been made, the bill will be placed before the Diet for their deliberations.

Following last week's e-mail magazine, I received some comments questioning the adequacy of the Government's explanation on this matter.

I understand that the details of the MSDF's activities in the Indian Ocean might be unknown to many people. This is precisely why I am determined to make an effort to provide ample and clear explanations in order to gain the people's understanding of what the MSDF is doing, why it is doing what it is doing, and why those activities must be continued.

We all vividly remember the series of terrorist attacks that struck the United States on September 11, 2001. These attacks took the lives of approximately 3,000 people, including 24 Japanese nationals. As a result, the international community decided to unite our efforts to prevent and eradicate terrorism.

Six years have passed since then. And at this very moment in the Indian Ocean, the vessels of countries from around the world are working together to crack down on the movements of terrorists and trade in illegal drugs, which is a source of funding for terrorism, and trade in arms.

The MSDF has taken on the responsibility of supplying fuel and water to these vessels. We are thus playing a crucial role in the fight against terrorism in the Indian Ocean.

Some readers of this e-mail magazine raised the question as to why we need to engage in refueling U.S. vessels.

The MSDF's refueling activities are not confined to U.S. vessels as many other nations, such as France, Germany, and Pakistan, an Islamic country, are also participating in the fight against terrorism in the Indian Ocean. The MSDF provides far more fuel to these countries' vessels than it does to U.S. vessels. The MSDF's activities are, therefore, strongly appreciated not only by the U.S. but also by countries all over the world.

Admittedly, a single e-mail magazine message is not enough to sufficiently explain everything there is to know about this issue to ensure the people's understanding. However, I will make sure that the Government's position on the MSDF's activities in the Indian Ocean is also communicated to you by Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura, Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura and Minister of Defense Shigeru Ishiba.

The Diet deliberations will begin soon. I am poised to continue to carefully explain things again and again and to thereby steadily gain the people's understanding.

[What's New in Government Internet TV]

- Prime Minister's Week in Review (October 1 to 7, 2007)

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Japan-Namibia Summit Meeting (October 16, 2007) and others

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General Editor: Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
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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