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Fukuda Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.5 (November 8, 2007) ============================================================

"Thinking only of the people. This is Yasuo Fukuda."
-- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Yasuo FukudaProfile Japanese

Thinking only of the people. This is Yasuo Fukuda.

Last Friday, I held the second political party leaders' meeting with the President of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Ichiro Ozawa.

I received some favorable comments from the readers of this e-mail magazine on the outcome of the meeting. There was also some criticism that a grand coalition with the DPJ is against the will of the people.

More than one month has passed since I took office under the current session of the "contorted" Diet, in which the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rules in the House of Representatives while the DPJ has the majority in the House of Councillors. In fact, not a single bill has been passed in the Diet. This is certainly not a normal state of affairs.

I view this situation with particular seriousness because if it continues, it may have detrimental effects on the livelihood of the people. I am sure that Mr. Ozawa felt the same way. With strong determination to achieve a breakthrough by way of consultation, I engaged in a frank exchange of opinions with Mr. Ozawa.

Media reports on our meeting have solely focused on the possibility of a coalition government, but in fact, Mr. Ozawa and I discussed a bill on anti-terrorism as well as policies concerning the people's livelihood. We need to thoroughly consider how to establish a framework that can ensure public understanding, including a method of arranging for policy consultations to take place between the ruling parties and the DPJ.

Some readers contributed their opinions on the way we have conducted these party leaders' meetings. They felt that there is no point in holding such meetings unless the public is informed of the details. Others wondered if the details are such that they would be negatively received by the public.

Open discussion is the basis of democracy. At the same time, if we simply reassert our own opinions in a public forum, nothing gets decided.

I have been trying to figure out how we can best realize policies and I feel that we ought to be able to get together so that we can talk frankly about what needs to be done without having to consider rhetoric or posturing.

It would certainly be a positive development if new mechanisms or systems were created based on such talks, and then specific policy debate were held in the Diet and other public fora.

It is my sincere hope that the recent talks with Mr. Ozawa will serve to build momentum toward devising a roadmap that will allow us to better steer the "contorted" Diet in the days to come.

[What's New in Government Internet TV]

- Prime Minister's Week in Review (October 22 to 28, 2007)

- Japan Fashion Week in Tokyo 2007 (Highlighting JAPAN Video)

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Fifty-fourth General Meeting of the Quality-of-Life Council (November 5, 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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