Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 182 (March 31, 2005)
[Lion Heart -- Message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi]
On March 26, last Saturday, I visited Genkai Island where great damage was caused by the recent earthquake off the western coast of Fukuoka. I spoke with the islanders who had been evacuated to listen to them and give them my words of encouragement.
I saw at Genkai Island a devastating picture of landslides, cracked quaysides and many collapsed houses that had once stood on hillsides. As I toured the vicinity, I was struck by the magnitude of the damage. Together with the prefectural and municipal governments, we will make every effort to provide restoration and reconstruction assistance in order that those affected by the disaster can return to their everyday lives without delay with peace of mind.
Another big earthquake has occurred off the coast of Sumatra. The Government of Japan immediately dispatched a Japan Disaster Relief Team to the affected region. Japan will seek to extend promptly a helping hand responding to requests from affected regions.
March 25 heralded the start of the Exposition of Global Harmony (2005 World Exposition), under the theme "Nature's Wisdom." I attended the opening ceremony and enjoyed a great variety of events, from music, ballet and drum performances to dance performances by robots. As unfortunately I had no time to take a tour around the site to enjoy the various exhibits, I am looking forward to visiting again. I am sure that one day is not enough to fully take in all the attractions.
I heard that some complaints had been made that homemade food could not be brought into the Exposition site, not even a rice ball, due to a regulation prohibiting people bringing in their own lunch boxes and drinks. Although this regulation was introduced as a measure to prevent food poisoning and to counter terrorism, I gave instructions for it to be speedily reconsidered and for a more visitor-friendly approach to be taken.
As early as today, the Secretariat will announce a new measure allowing lunch boxes prepared and packed at home to be carried into the site.
There may still be some foods and beverages that will be restricted for safety reasons and as counterterrorism measures. I ask for your understanding and cooperation in this regard.
The first foreign Head of State to visit the Exposition was President Jacques Chirac of France. President Chirac is a self-confessed fan of everything Japanese and he also attended the Grand Sumo Spring Tournament. On Sunday, March 27, we held a summit meeting and discussed a wide range of themes, including United Nations reform and the international situation.
On UN reform, I was heartily encouraged by President Chirac's full support for Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the Security Council. Japan and France already enjoy good relations in a variety of areas, including politics, economy and culture, and we affirmed that we will make every effort to further strengthen these ties.
On Monday, Mr. Richard Gere visited my office. He was in every way a true film star. He is currently appearing in the film "Shall we Dance?" which is based on a Japanese film of the same name. I have already seen the Japanese version, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing the remake at a cinema.
This week we have reached the peak of activities among members of the ruling parties to work on the bills on the privatization of the postal services, which are at the heart of reforms. Although there are still strong voices of opposition, I will make every effort in this coordination process so that the bills can be compiled in line with the Basic Policy on the Privatization of the Postal Services.
* 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.
- The Global Warming Prevention Headquarters (March 29, 2005)
- The United Nations Youth Ambassadors Pay Courtesy Call on
Prime Minister (March 28, 2005)
- Japan-France Summit Meeting (March 27, 2005)
- Prime Minister Visits the Disaster Site of the Earthquake
off the Western Coast of Fukuoka (March 26, 2005)
- Members of the Joint Support Committee for Japan-ROK Joint
History Research Pays Courtesy Call on Prime Minister
(March 25, 2005)
- Prime Minister Attend the Opening Ceremony of the Exposition of
Global Harmony (2005 World Exposition) (March 24, 2005)
- Reader's Comment on the e-mail magazine is available only to the subscribers.
- Click here to make comments on administration of Japan.
|Subscription||Back to the Top of the Koizumi Cabinet E-Mail Magazine|