Fukuda Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.16 (January 31, 2008) ============================================================
"Talking things over carefully and steadfastly. This is Yasuo Fukuda."
I gave a special address focusing on issues such as the global economy and climate change, and exchanged views with President of the Republic of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade and Mr. Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, as well as with rock musician Bono. We shared our views on development issues relating to developing countries, especially African ones, and I keenly sensed the weight of the world's expectations of Japan.
This year, Japan will host the G8 Summit and the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV). On these occasions, I intend to make use of my experiences in Davos and proactively lead the way as the international community tackles various issues that we must address.
Regarding the budget and budget-related bills for the next fiscal year, the ruling and opposition parties reached an agreement yesterday to "conduct thorough deliberations and come to a certain conclusion before the end of the fiscal year."
I had been concerned that a conclusion to discussions on the budget and budget-related bills might have been postponed until after the end of this fiscal year, which would have caused confusion in the people's lives and the Japanese economy, but with this agreement we will be able to avoid such a situation.
I would like to acknowledge the role of Speaker of the House of Representatives Yohei Kono, President of the House of Councillors Satsuki Eda, and everyone else in both the ruling and opposition parties whose great efforts made it possible for us to reach this agreement.
In the current Diet, in which the ruling coalition commands a majority in the House of Representatives while the opposition parties have control of the House of Councillors, nothing can be accomplished by either the ruling or the opposition parties if they stubbornly insist on advancing only their own ideas.
That is why it is more important than anything else that we talk things out. In fact, precisely because this is the current political situation, talking things over means it will be possible for us to produce an even better outcome.
There may be some differences in the views expressed by members of the ruling and opposition parties during the budget deliberations, but as long as we discuss things carefully and steadfastly, I am certain that we will be able to reach the best conclusion, in the same manner as we have just done.
Yesterday, I learned that some people who ate frozen dumplings made in China have fallen ill and that some have had to be hospitalized. I would like to first and foremost express my heartfelt concern for those who have taken ill and my hopes that they make a speedy and full recovery.
Mealtimes symbolize a pleasant and relaxing family time, and we must absolutely prevent any situations from occurring that might endanger the food safety. The safety and security of foods is a fundamental underpinning of our daily lives and must be considered a top priority.
The Government will, first of all, take all measures that need to be taken immediately, including a recall of the products in question, to make sure that nobody else falls ill from them. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and consider whether or not more can be done to ensure the safety of imported food products.
* Profile of the Prime Minister
- Prime Minister's Week in Review (January 14 to 20, 2008)
- Prime Minister Attends the Annual Meeting of the World Economic
Forum (the Davos Meeting) (January 26, 2008) and others
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