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Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 186 (April 28 - May 5, 2005)
* Next issue will be delivered on May 12, 2005

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

Prime Minister Junichiro KoizumiProfile

Submission of bills related to the privatization of the postal services to the Diet

Junichiro Koizumi here.

On April 25, this Monday, more than 500 people were either injured or killed in a catastrophic train accident involving a JR West train in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the victims and their bereaved families.

Railroad companies are entrusted with the lives of many passengers. An in-depth study to identify the cause of the accident will be carried out. I have given instructions that the companies concerned should take all possible safety measures to prevent such an accident from reoccurring.

Yesterday, the Cabinet approved the bills related to the privatization of the postal services and they were submitted to the Diet. The bills call for the postal services to be privatized in two years time, beginning in April 2007, into four separate companies-"postal services company," "over-the-counter services network company," "postal savings bank," and "postal life insurance company"-and for privatization to be fully realized by April 2017. Postal networks in under-populated areas will be maintained.

Four years ago, before my appointment as prime minister, people laughed off the idea of privatization of the postal services as being highly unlikely. I am sure that none of the political parties, nor the readers of this e-mail magazine even imagined that the bills related to the privatization of the postal services would actually be compiled and submitted to the Diet.

April 26 marked four full years since the inauguration of the Koizumi Cabinet. There are currently a plethora of issues in addition to postal services, both in domestic and foreign affairs. Some say that there are more important matters that I should be paying attention to instead of postal privatization. It does not necessarily follow however, that other issues will be resolved if postal privatization is not realized. It is the responsibility of the Koizumi Cabinet to see to it that other important issues are tackled side by side with the achievement of postal privatization.

From tomorrow, April 29, Japan will enter the Golden Week holiday period. I imagine that the readers of this e-mail magazine will be passing the holidays in various ways-heading off to holiday resorts, recharging their batteries, or perhaps working hard at their jobs. I will be visiting India, Pakistan, Luxembourg and the Netherlands during Golden Week. After the holidays, I will also be making a trip to Russia. There seems to be no let-up in my schedule.

Thursday next week, May 5, is Children's Day in Japan. My office is decorated with traditional dolls for the Boy's Festival, and carp streamers are flying proudly at the entrance to the building. While praying for the sound growth of our children, I will continue to advance reforms.

* 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]

- The Fourth Meeting of the Headquarters for the Promotion of Privatization of the Postal Services (April 27, 2005)
The Headquarters approved six related bills including "the bills related to the privatization of the postal services."

- Statement by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi On Their Majesties' Visit to Saipan Island (April 26, 2005)

- Prime Minister Attends the Asian-African Summit 2005 (Third Day)(April 24, 2005)
Prime Minister Koizumi attended the Commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the Asian-African Conference 1955, a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary.

- Prime Minister Attends the Asian-African Summit 2005 (Second Day)(April 23, 2005)
Prime Minister Koizumi observed the distribution of food and daily commodities, and medical activities in Aceh Province, where incurred significant damage from the earthquake and the tsunami.

- Prime Minister Attends the Asian-African Summit 2005 (First Day)(April 22, 2005)
Prime Minister Koizumi attended the Asian-African Summit 2005 held in Jakarta, Indonesia and delivered an address at the General Assembly meeting.

- Japan Prize Laureates Pay a Courtesy Call on Prime Minister (April 21, 2005)
Prime Minister Koizumi received a courtesy call from the "Japan Prize" laureates, who awarded for their original and outstanding achievements in science and technology.

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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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