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Fukuda Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.4 (November 1, 2007) ============================================================

"The first of November has arrived. This is Yasuo Fukuda."
-- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Yasuo FukudaProfile Japanese


The first of November has arrived. This is Yasuo Fukuda.


The Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law expires today, and accordingly, we will bring to an end the activities of the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) in the Indian Ocean.

Just as the supply ship Tokiwa completed its final mission by supplying oil to a Pakistani vessel, a banner was raised from the vessel expressing their appreciation with the following words:

FUEL FOR FREEDOM
JDS TOKIWA
THANK YOU

I once again keenly sense just how much the international community has appreciated the steady efforts of the members of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), who earnestly carried out their mission in the blazing heat under temperatures hot enough to fry an egg on the deck.

One full month has passed since I assumed office as Prime Minister. Since the disastrous defeat of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the last election of the House of Councillors, we find ourselves in a contorted situation in the Diet, in which the LDP is the largest party in the House of Representatives and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leads in the House of Councillors.

If the LDP and DPJ continue in a state of opposition, we will not be able to smoothly enact laws or deal with diplomatic matters that are vital for ensuring the livelihood of the people.

Determined to achieve a breakthrough, I proposed holding a political party leaders' meeting with the DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa. Although I am not yet sure if our meetings will lead to a breakthrough in the current stagnation, I am sure that Mr. Ozawa shares my view that we must put the interest of the nation and the people first and foremost.

I will make every effort to engage in ongoing and sincere dialogue with Mr. Ozawa so that we can produce better results that will meet the needs of the people.

Last week, I visited the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCAC), a government affiliated organization.

You may recall that there have been accidents in which children were injured as a result of problems with baby carriages and shredders, or instances of instantaneous gas water heaters emitting poisonous gases or bursting into flames. The NCAC tests the safety of products that we use in our daily lives such as these.

We all have experienced situations in which we came across unexpected dangers in ordinary circumstances. The NCAC carefully checks products, one by one, to determine whether or not there are any dangers based on complaints and comments from consumers, and other information. The results are published both online and in printed publications. I strongly suggest that everyone take a look at them.

It is the manufacturer's responsibility to make every effort to produce safe, user-friendly and lasting products. On top of that, nowadays, whether or not a company is producing products that truly serve the consumer is the decisive factor in determining the company's competitiveness.

However, we must not rely on corporate efforts alone. The time has come for those in politics and the administration to change their mindsets away from placing more focus on manufacturers; what is needed is a major change of perspective so that politicians and government officials share the standpoint of the consumer and the people.

I fully intend to take immediate action to launch a comprehensive and fundamental review of all laws and systems that impact matters directly related to the lives of our people, such as the safety of products and food safety. I assure you that this review will be conducted from the people's perspective.

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[What's New in Government Internet TV]

- Prime Minister's Week in Review (October 15 to 21, 2007)
http://nettv.gov-online.go.jp/prg/prg1454.html

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[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Twenty-seventh Meeting of the Council for Gender Equality (October 30, 2007) and others
http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/hukudaphoto/index_e.html

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[Fukuda Cabinet E-mail Magazine]

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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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