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Aso Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.4 (October 30, 2008) ================================================================

"Once in a century"
-- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Taro AsoProfile Japanese

Once in a century

The world is currently in the midst of a so-called "once-in-a- century" financial crisis.

Although Japan's financial system is stable compared to those of the United States and Europe, the Japanese economy, too, has been significantly affected, with domestic stock prices fluctuating wildly.

During my visit to Beijing last week, I had the opportunity to engage in exchanges of frank opinions on the financial crisis with leaders of major Asian and European nations. I became keenly aware of the high expectations that nations have placed on Japan.

About a decade ago, Japan overcame a financial crisis.

The leaders of the world's 20 major countries will hold an emergency summit next month to discuss responses to the financial crisis. I am convinced that Japan must utilize its experience of overcoming financial crisis and demonstrate leadership, for the stabilization of the world economy.

Today, the Government will decide on a new economic policy package -- Measures to Support the People's Lives, which puts the people first.

Every day, pessimistic opinions about the future of the economy are expressed in the news media. If the people's lives were in fact to become bleak, it really would send the economy downward.

The policy I will implement will be bold, so that people in different circumstances who might come to feel pain can perceive its effects, and so that the future can be bright.

Our responses will be tailored to people in households struggling to make ends meet, to those worrying about unstable employment, to the mothers and fathers working hard to raise children, and to people finding it difficult to buy their homes.

It is imperative that micro-, small and medium-sized companies, which provide 70 percent of all employment, remain vigorous. We will take all possible measures to support their year-end financing, to keep them safe from the stormy seas of international finance.

Without bright regions, Japan as a whole cannot be bright. The Government will allocate one trillion yen to the regions, using revenue sources earmarked for roads that will be reallocated to the revenues used for general purposes.

We must gather together all our wisdom to overcome the "once-in-a- century" crisis. Now, the power of politics is being put to the test.

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General Editor: Prime Minister Taro Aso
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Jun Matsumoto
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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