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Aso Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.27 (April 16, 2009)

"The international community stands united"
-- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Taro AsoProfile Japanese

         The Security Council condemns the April 5, 2009 launch by North Korea, which is in contravention of a Security Council resolution.
         The Security Council demands that North Korea not conduct any further launch.
         The Security Council also calls upon all Member States to comply fully with their obligations under the resolution.

This is the gist of the Statement by the President of the Security Council that the United Nations Security Council issued this week regarding the missile launch by North Korea as a unified message on the part of the international community.

Whereas terms such as "deplorable" and "concern" are frequently used normally, the statement in recognition of Japan's insistence became an exceptionally strongly worded statement, using expressions such as "in contravention of" a resolution and "condemn."

It is entirely unacceptable that North Korea went ahead with its planned missile launch despite the appeals of concerned countries including Japan for self-restraint.

It is true that initially, immediately after the missile launch, there had been differences of opinion within the United Nations between some other countries and Japan, which was exposed to the most serious danger posed by the missile launch when the missile passed right its overhead.

In response, Japan, including I myself and Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone, took actions by making diplomatic efforts at all levels. I consistently placed the highest priority on points which include:
       1) Sending a strong message, which condemns the act as a contravention of existing Security Council resolutions and demands that North Korea comply fully with the resolutions;
       2) Showing that the international community stands united in its response; and
       3) Sending the message promptly.

In Thailand, which I visited last weekend, I held separate talks with the leaders of China and the Republic of Korea. The talks with Premier Wen Jiabao of China, in particular, ran more than 30 minutes over schedule as we engaged in a serious discussion on this issue. During the subsequent Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting, which was also attended by President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea, discussions on the issue took place among the three countries and we were able to achieve a convergence of views.

The sending out of a message by the United Nations is a step taken to respond to the serious issues concerning North Korea, including the abduction, nuclear, and missile issues. On this occasion, I accorded great priority to promptly sending a strong and unified message, even more than the form that the message will take, whether it be a resolution or a Presidential Statement. As a result, we were able to realize the exceptionally strongly worded statement.

I will continue to make my utmost efforts, while working in close collaboration with countries around the world, in order to defend the people's safety.

In addition to discussing the North Korea issue, we had originally planned to propose to the leaders of Asian countries during the latest visit to Thailand the Japan's Future Development Strategy and Growth Initiative towards Doubling the Size of Asia's Economy in which Japan and Asia would grow together.

Due to the domestic circumstances in Thailand, I had to expedite my return to Japan, which resulted in my arrival at Haneda Airport at 4 a.m. It is unfortunate that we were unable to propose the initiative this time, but Japan intends to continue its efforts to explain the economic growth initiative to the nations of Asia in order to spark wider interest in the initiative, and ensure the future growth of Asia and of Japan.

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- Prime Minister Aso Attends the 2nd Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy (March 30 - April 3, 2009)

[Prime Minister's Week in Review]
- Launch of a Flying Object by North Korea and other topics (March 30 - April 5, 2009)

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[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- The Prime Minister Visits Thailand (April 11, 2009) and others

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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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