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Hatoyama Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 5 (November 10, 2009)

Yukio Hatoyama's "Yu-Ai" -- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister HatoyamaProfile Japanese

"Aiming for a strong Japan-US relationship"

The Diet deliberations started last week.

First of all, I would like to once again extend my sincere apologies to the people of Japan for having caused great trouble, with my fund management body making fund statements that did not necessarily correspond to the facts, as I have acknowledged in the Diet. This has happened as a result of my neglecting to communicate sufficiently with the accountants and office staff. I truly and deeply regret this.

I will continue to give my full cooperation to the prosecutors in their investigation. Of course, I will provide the prosecutors with the necessary documents and data, and I expect that an accurate investigation will be conducted.

I will also reform what must be reformed on my part, including the office's system, so as to prevent the reoccurrence of such mistakes.

Following the completion at the House of Representatives of the three-day session of the Budget Committee, in which all the members of the Hatoyama Cabinet took part, the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors began its deliberations on November 6, and they will continue for another three days.

While the Q&A session at the Budget Committee is something that I have experienced many times before, this is my first time on the answering side. I was a little nervous about what questions they would ask, for there was little prior notification from the opposition parties on the content of the questions they would pose during the deliberations at the House of Representatives. In any event, I thought only about answering each question sincerely and focused on providing detailed explanations.

Each of the ministers also gave their responses with conviction, instead of giving routine responses based on their positions. Because of this, we were able to conduct smooth deliberations with the entire Cabinet keeping in step even under these unfavorable conditions.

At the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, we received many questions in particular about the relocation of Futenma Air Station in Okinawa. These included questions such as by when we planned to come to a conclusion or what the time limit on this was. We must avoid at any cost a situation in which we have to say that we did not make thorough consideration because we were in a rush to come to a conclusion.

The opposition parties argue that Japan and the United States have already reached an agreement, and that a conclusion has been made. However, now that a change of government has taken place, it is precisely the time to realize our position on the issue of the military bases in Okinawa, which we have maintained since we were an opposition party during previous governments. This is an issue of the military bases in Okinawa and, also, an issue of Japan's defense structure; in other words, this is an issue of the Japan-US Security Arrangements. The future of Okinawa is the future of Japan and, by extension, the future of the Japan-US relationship, including the Japan-US Security Arrangements.

If there is no room to doubt a Japan-US relationship where Japan simply follows the lead of the United States, as in previous governments, reconsideration of this issue may not be necessary. However, we want to clearly show Japan's will through this issue. In careful consideration of the wishes of the people of Okinawa Prefecture, victims of the military base issue, the Japan-US relationship, which is the cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy and security, and the Japan-US agreement, I will seriously study all options available for relocation inside or outside both Okinawa and Japan, before coming to a conclusion. It is absolutely not my intention to needlessly postpone coming to a conclusion. At the same time, it is not an issue in which I can lightly say at what time the decision will be made. I call on the people's understanding in this regard.

It is my belief that we can establish a strong Japan-US relationship in the real sense of the word by clearly showing Japan's will. I will lead the way and strive to establish a true relationship of trust with US President Barack Obama.

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General Editor: Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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