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Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 152 (August 26, 2004)

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

Prime Minister Junichiro KoizumiProfile

After summer break

Junichiro Koizumi here.

Until this Monday, August 23, I was on my annual summer break, which this year I spent here in Tokyo. As it was one of the rare chances I have to take a break I had not made any specific plans nor was I planning on doing anything but putting my feet up and having a relaxing few days.

It happened that my summer break coincided with the all-Japan high school baseball championship tournament and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and I ended up spending most of my time cheering the teams on in front of the television, at times late into the night.

The final of the high school baseball tournament was a real slugfest, with many magnificent hits. I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time.

The achievements of the Japanese athletes at the Olympic Games have been truly astounding. On many occasions, I have been so moved by their efforts that tears have welled up in my eyes.

I am sure that as you have watched such events as judo, swimming, gymnastics, wrestling, athletics and the marathon you too were moved as I was. With three more days still to go, I expect the Japanese athletes will continue to perform admirably and I will be cheering them on.

At the opening ceremony, the flag-bearer for the Japanese team was Ms. Kyoko Hamaguchi, who competed in the women's wrestling event. While she undoubtedly gave her best in all her matches, her father's support was also strong and vigorous as he cheered her on.

After her match, despite a swollen right eyelid, she wore a beaming smile as she said, "Although my medal is made of bronze and not gold, of the experiences I have had in my life, this experience adds up to far more than even a gold medal....Everything I know today is what I have learned from my father. All I could really ask for out of my life is for us to continue to live as one happy family."

As moving were her mother's words for her daughter that, "Even a bronze medal is fine. We are happy as a family, and we can ask for no more than that."

I was touched by how close and loving a family the Hamaguchis are.

Those athletes that could not win a medal should not be too hard on themselves either. What is important is for them to continue striving toward their own goals.

Yesterday, I met with Governor Keiichi Inamine and exchanged opinions concerning the accident of a US Army transport helicopter crashing onto the campus of Okinawa International University on August 13.

It was fortunate that there were no fatalities from this accident, but nevertheless it could have easily turned into a major disaster. The anger and worries of the people of Okinawa are entirely natural and the government will request that the United States exerts maximum effort into investigating the cause of the accident and ensuring the prevention of any recurrence.

With the end of my summer break this week, I am now going to go full steam ahead with advancing the privatization of the three postal services, which is at the heart of my reforms "from the public sector to the private sector" and the reform packages of three issues under the policy of "from the state to the regions." We are at the final stages of compiling a concrete plan for privatization in the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy.

This is just the start of the crucial stage of the structural reforms of the Koizumi Cabinet. I will give my all in tackling the challenges and difficulties that lie ahead.

* 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]

- Prime Minister Meets with the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture (August 25, 2004)
Prime Minister Koizumi said that the Government will request the United States to exert its utmost effort in the investigation into the cause of this incident and for recurrence prevention.

- Prime Minister Meets with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda (August 25, 2004)
Prime Minister Koizumi said that Japan highly evaluates the efforts of Uganda in measures against HIV/AIDS and in its pursuit of stability in the region.

- Prime Minister Meets with Representatives of the Six Regional Organizations (August 24, 2004)
Prime Minister Koizumi received a reform proposal on state subsidies from the representatives of the six regional organizations.

- Prime Minister Attends Memorial Service for the War Dead (August 15, 2004)
Prime Minister Koizumi delivered an address saying, "Looking back on the past with humility, I will not let the lesson learned from the tragedy of war fade with time."

- Prime Minister Attends Nagasaki Memorial Service for the Dead and Peace Ceremony (August 9, 2004)
Prime Minister Koizumi indicated his determination by saying that Japan will lead the international community and devote itself to abolish nuclear weapons.

- Prime Minister Attends Hiroshima Memorial Service for the Dead and Peace Memorial Ceremony (August 6, 2004)
Prime Minister Koizumi attended the ceremony marking the 59th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

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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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