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Hatoyama Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.18 (February 12, 2010)

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

Prime Minister HatoyamaProfile Japanese

On February 10, I appointed Mr. Yukio Edano, a member of the House of Representatives, as Minister of State for Government Revitalization. Minister Edano took the lead in eliminating administrative waste through the recent review of government programs. Looking ahead to the second phase of the review, I am confident that he will again take the lead and fulfill the expectations of the Japanese public.


"The pride of Japan"

Last Saturday, amid strong, intermittent gusts of wind, I was at Harumi Pier in Tokyo to welcome the Maritime Replenishment Support Unit dispatched to the Indian Ocean -- the replenishment ship AOE Mashu and the destroyer DD Ikazuchi -- on their return to Japan.

The approximately 340 returning members of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) fulfilled their duties admirably in the sweltering 40 degree Celsius heat -- almost 70 degrees Celsius on the decks of their ships -- of the Indian Ocean: the members and their professionalism are the pride of Japan. I express my heartfelt gratitude to them.

I wanted to say to each and every one of the members of the JMSDF, who engaged in the replenishment activities for a total of 13,000 tours of duty over the course of approximately eight years, that I was truly grateful. It was with this thought that I offered the Prime Minister's Special Letter of Commendation.

The Replenishment Support Special Measures Law expired on January 15 this year. From here on, the Japanese government will actively play an appropriate role in United Nations peacekeeping operations, preventing terrorism, and providing humanitarian relief, among other activities.

Later in the afternoon of the same day, I presented the unit flag to the international rescue unit on the occasion of its departure for Haiti. The recent earthquake in Haiti has reportedly caused 170,000 to 210,000 deaths there, while another approximately 3.7 million people, or more than one-third of the Haitian population, suffer from its consequences. I noted in my words to the departing unit members that the victims in Haiti were awaiting their arrival and urged them to make the utmost use of the experience that they had gained through their efforts in the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the Niigata-Chuetsu Earthquake, and other disasters.

Rebuilding the devastated lives of the people of Haiti leads to the rebuilding of the state, and thus to the stability of Haiti and the surrounding region. Helping people who are in trouble; that is the way people should be. I want the unit members to tell the world, "Here we are, Japan, the nation that protects people's lives."

I am sure that they will face many difficult and trying situations as they take part in their mission and live their daily lives there. And, we are asking the families of the unit members to bear the burden of anxiety.

I thus thank from the bottom of my heart the members of the unit, who are serving the world on behalf of Japan, the people who provide the support for their activities, and, most of all, their families. I will be waiting for them when they return; safely and happily, filled with the experience and renewed pride gained from their exemplary work in Haiti.

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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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