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Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 150 (July 29, 2004)

[Lion Heart -- Message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi]
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Junichiro KoizumiProfile

On the release of the 150th issue

Junichiro Koizumi here.

The summer has certainly reached its peak. I hope that as record-breaking temperatures continue with the mercury climbing higher and higher, all readers of the e-mail magazine are well and not suffering due to the heat.

The hot weather must be doubly difficult for the people of Fukui, Niigata and Fukushima Prefectures, as they toil in the scorching heat on restoration work following the damage inflicted by the torrential rains. So many volunteers from across the nation have gathered to lend a helping hand and one truly generous individual donated his or her lottery winnings of 200 million yen towards the restoration of the damaged areas. I find it deeply reassuring when I see people willingly and openly assisting one another in times of adversity, out of the kindness of their hearts.

For our part, the central government will work together with the prefectural and the municipal governments in providing assistance to the afflicted areas and people.

The Athens 2004 Olympic Games will start from August 13. I attended the send-off party for the Olympic team held last Saturday, July 24, and met many young athletes who have singularly devoted themselves to rigorous training in order to reach their goals and dreams. Their strong determination shines through from behind their smiles and I find it the excitement and anticipation felt by the athletes to be palpable and infectious.

I will be cheering them on from in front of the TV and sharing their every emotion come victory or defeat.

On Monday, July 26, I met with Mr. Shingo Kanda at my office. He became the first Japanese to win the title of Kuechenmeister, the highest certificate for chefs in Austria.

Some of you may recognize him from his contribution to the Japanese edition of last week's issue of this e-mail magazine. I found him to be a most pleasant 29-year-old gentleman.

You get only one shot at the Meister examination in a lifetime. During the five-day skills test, the examinee must prepare a full course meal with only one young local helper he or she meets for the first time on the day of the examination. This year, out of over 300 people who took the examination, Mr. Kanda was one of the two who were successful.

Then on Tuesday, July 27, I met with Mr. Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels at my office.

The Guardian Angels is a volunteer organization, which first came into action in New York City, striving for crime prevention. The members identify themselves by wearing a red beret and red uniform jacket. They work together under the concept that no crime is too small, and endeavor to ensure safety in their own neighborhood through their own efforts. In the United States, young boys and girls from the ages of 8 to 15 can become members of the Junior Angels.

I sincerely hope that similar volunteer activities will spread throughout Japan too.

The Japanese version of this week's e-mail magazine is celebrating its 150th issue since its first publication three years ago. There are currently approximately 1.7 million readers. I believe that it is thanks to the all of you who read this e-mail magazine every week that we have been able to continue for over three years. Both the strict criticisms and heartwarming encouragement that you send make it possible for me to share my views with you through this e-mail magazine.

One remark I frequently hear from many of you is "I was able to learn more about the workings of the Prime Minister's Office through this e-mail magazine, and now feel it to be much closer and relevant to my daily life." I must say, however, that the privilege has been mine to directly obtain your various opinions and thoughts through this e-mail magazine, thanks to which I have been able to feel much closer to you all.

The summer holidays are just beginning and this year I have before me the major task of formulating a concrete plan for the privatization of the three postal services, which is at the heart of my reforms.

Although we are faced with mounting challenges, both domestic and international, I intend to further promote reforms and share with you information on their progress through this e-mail magazine.

* The title of this column "Lion Heart" is a reference to the Prime Minister's lion-like hairstyle and his unbending determination to advance structural reform.

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Iraqi Olympic Judo Athlete Haidar Ali Lazem Pays Courtesy Call on Prime Minister (July 28, 2004)
Prime Minister Koizumi presented to Mr. Lazem the uniform of the Iraqi team at the Olympic Games and gave his words of encouragement.

- Budding Reporters from Okinawa Pay Courtesy Call on the Prime Minister (July 28, 2004)
Prime Minister Koizumi received a courtesy call from 51 budding reporters from Okinawa who are promoting youth friendship exchanges between Okinawa and the mainland.

- Prime Minister Meets with the Founder of the Guardian Angels (July 27, 2004)
Prime Minister Koizumi received a courtesy call from Mr. Curtis Sliwa, the founder of an international non-profit organization (NPO) that strives for crime prevention.

- Prime Minister Receives a Proposal from the National Council on Promotion of Economic Partnerships (July 26, 2004)
Prime Minister Koizumi received a visit and a proposal from representatives of the National Council on Promotion of Economic Partnerships for the Revitalization of Japan.

- Goodwill Ambassadors who Promote Events for Japan-Republic of Korea Tourism and Cultural Exchanges Pay Courtesy Call on Prime Minister (July 22, 2004)
Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his expectations for the activities of Ms. Yoshino Kimura and Ms. Choi Ji Woo as the Goodwill Ambassadors.

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General Editor: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiken Sugiura
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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