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Fukuda Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.9 (December 6, 2007) ============================================================

"Life flows from water. This is Yasuo Fukuda."
-- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Yasuo FukudaProfile Japanese

Life flows from water. This is Yasuo Fukuda.

Many readers of the e-mail magazine have sent in harsh criticism of the series of scandals related to the Ministry of Defense that have come to light. It is truly regrettable that such cases occurred one after another, and that the situation has gone as far as the arrest of the former Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense. I fully understand the anger and loss of trust that everyone must be feeling.

In the inaugural preparatory issue of the e-mail magazine, I noted that no policy -- no matter how creditable it may be -- can be brought about without the trust of the people, and committed myself to doing everything I could to ensure that people would once again be able to put their trust in politics and in the administration. Yet, the fact is that this issue has given people renewed cause to be distrustful.

I am determined to get to the bottom of how such problems came about, and to find the best way to restore things to the way they ought to be. To this end, I have established the Council for Reforming the Ministry of Defense within the Prime Minister's Office, and tasked the Council with examining these problems as far back as their origins.

I will see to it that we carry out a thorough examination of the approach and the working practices that have been prevalent at the Ministry of Defense, in order to breathe new life into it, throughout its organization. Resolved as I am, I will devote my efforts to restoring the Japanese people's trust in the Ministry.

This past Monday, I took part in the First Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Beppu City, Oita Prefecture, attended by His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince, and world leaders.

Just like air, water is essential to all that lives.

However, there are still some 700 million people in the Asia-Pacific region alone, who do not have access to safe drinking water. In addition, with more than 500 million people suffering from food shortages, securing the water necessary for agriculture is also a major challenge.

At the same time, water is coming to pose a direct threat to life. Recently, a great many people in Bangladesh lost their lives in flooding. This is thought to have occurred due to the influence of global warming.

As an island nation, it is the oceans that connect Japan to the rest of the world. My trip to Oita to attend the Asia-Pacific Water Summit brought home to me the importance of safeguarding water and the environment in general.

Japan will host the G8 Summit next year in the Toyako area of Hokkaido. Global warming is a major issue that all the nations of the world must tackle. At the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, I fully intend to demonstrate Japan's leadership in efforts to resolve global warming issues and water issues.

I would like to finish on a cheerful note. This week, the national baseball team led by manager Sen'ichi Hoshino secured a place at the Olympics to be held in Beijing next year. In the qualifying rounds, the team put up a fierce fight, pulling off three magnificent victories in a row. I am looking forward to watching them give everything they have in Beijing as they go for gold.

[What's New in Government Internet TV]

- Prime Minister's Week in Review (November 19 to 25, 2007)

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Asia-Pacific Water Summit (December 3, 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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