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Fukuda Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.46 (September 4, 2008) ============================================================

"Thank you all very much. This is Yasuo Fukuda."
-- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Yasuo FukudaProfile Japanese

Thank you all very much. This is Yasuo Fukuda.

In the old days, some Japanese people were fond of the expression "the eternal now."

"People despise past things by saying that such things are old and they praise contemporary things by declaring that they are new. However, if today's novelty is truly new, that novelty must surely persist through time and remain forever new."

The people of ten thousand years ago saw the same sun that we see today. There are no old waves, not a single one, lapping at the seashore -- every wave we see is a new wave. The always-new Ise Shrine, which has not changed since ancient times, has been seen by both the Japanese people in centuries past and today's Japanese.

The sun, the sea and Ise Shrine -- although there are differences among them in that they are respectively a star in space, a part of nature, and a man-made artifact, all three are parts of the eternal now.

I often used to think of "the eternal now" when drawing up policy.

We should retain policies that show compassion to all. For the wellbeing of everyone, new policies must constantly be introduced. We must not neglect to take care so that our policies never grow old and stale but stay new and fresh.

These thoughts are based on my belief that I must never forget that an ensemble is playing "the eternal now" when it comes to policy.

In my capacity, I am frequently asked what politics is about. My answer is always the same -- "To pursue ordinary things sincerely in an ordinary way."

The policies presented to the people and implemented are those that are rich in immediate results that are required now, those that will be useful in the near future, those that will contribute to Japan and the people in ten, 100 years' time, and those that deeply take into consideration not only Japan but also its relations with foreign countries.

Policy requires an ensemble -- I believe this is a requirement.

On Monday of this week, I made the decision to resign from the post of Prime Minister. I did so because I believe that a new system should be put in place in order to proceed even more powerfully with policy for the people.

Over the past year, I have received many frank opinions from the readers of this e-mail magazine. When I look back now, all the opinions I received each week -- whether they offered severe criticism or warm encouragement -- added up to a major driving force for me to promote policy.

I am just filled with a sense of gratitude toward you -- the readers of this e-mail magazine. I would like to thank you all very much for paying me the courtesy of reading my words over the past year.

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General Editor: Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Ryu Shionoya
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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