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Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 190 (June 2, 2005)

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

Prime Minister Junichiro KoizumiProfile

Free of ties, free of jackets

Junichiro Koizumi here.

Since June 1, ministers and officials can go to work in casual dress-that is, without tie or jacket.

There is no need to be straitlaced when thinking about what to wear to work, or whether or not to wear a tie. This is not a fashion contest; the new policy simply encourages people to dress casually at work to beat the heat of the sweltering Japanese summer.

I want each person to decide individually what kind of outfit is appropriate. I would also like to remind people not to set the room temperature control on their air conditioners too low. As has been the case until now, when necessary they should ideally be set at around 28 degrees Celsius so that we can conserve energy to be more environmentally friendly.

Luckily, Diet members were sympathetic to this new dress code and did not object to appearing at the Diet committee deliberations without ties or jackets.

Continuing the trend, I plan to attend today's Budget Committee deliberations in casual dress.

Above all, the current "no tie, no jacket" policy does not mean that people must always be without a tie or jacket. Depending on the circumstances, whether in meetings with foreign leaders or when attending ceremonies, I plan on being flexible, and to take into account what is befitting of each situation.

It would be wonderful if people could take a relaxed approach toward this dress policy, think independently about it and choose to wear comfortable clothing, and in so doing have a positive impact on measures to combat global warming.

I attended the National Meeting to Beautify Japan's Landscape on June 1. In my address, I quoted Professor Shosaburo Kimura, who said that it is vital in future urban development that cities are "women-friendly, safe for the elderly and easy to navigate for foreigners." I will advance efforts to build Japan as a beautiful, people-friendly, safe and easily comprehensible country.

* Prime Minister Without Tie or Jacket

* 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.

[Special Contribution]

Gathering of ambassadors from around the world by Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura

Eight months have passed since my appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs. At this juncture, I arranged for all the Japanese ambassadors dispatched to various corners of the world to gather for an Ambassadors' Meeting in Tokyo, the first time ever for such a meeting to be successfully held since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was established. Japanese diplomacy is facing numerous challenges and is indeed at a crucial stage at the moment. However, I recall Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's words: "With setback comes opportunity."

My intention in convening the Ambassadors' Meeting, which was held over the three-day period from May 16-18, was to have an opportunity to map out a strategy for Japan as a whole that pursues our national interest drawing on synergy with other government agencies, private-sector companies, and the people of Japan.

Reforming the United Nations (UN) and the UN Security Council is a top-priority diplomatic issue for the Koizumi Cabinet. Although it is an exceedingly difficult challenge, Japan, with feeling of remorse for the past, has contributed to the international community as a peaceful nation throughout the post-war period. With these contributions in mind, I gave instructions with encouragement to the ambassadors to channel all their energy towards the goal of Japan to become a permanent member of the Security Council with much confidence. I have heard it said that "the first three minutes in a fire and the last five minutes of an election" are critical. I also saw some newspapers' reports saying that "Foreign Minister Machimura inspires all ambassadors." For my part too, I certainly felt a pulse of dynamic "energy" among the ambassadors.

As for support for Japanese companies overseas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has traditionally assumed the task of creating general frameworks for economic exchanges and steered clear of becoming involved in individual business negotiations. However, as I told the ambassadors, this is an outdated attitude and we should become actively involved to respond to each company's needs. Major economic organizations also took part in this meeting, and we discussed problems that they encountered and ways to improve the business environment overseas. We will steadily implement the results of the discussions, one by one, in the days to come.

All the ambassadors have now returned to their posted countries. They immediately resumed their activities, taking the lead at their respective embassies. It was an exceptionally meaningful meeting in that all the ambassadors, who are posted in distant quarters and yet are at the forefront as the pillar of Japan's diplomacy, had the opportunity to meet one another face-to-face and engage in consultations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its overseas establishments will make a concerted effort to tackle various diplomatic challenges with even more vigor.

* Profile of the Minister for Foreign Affairs

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Japan-Madagascar Summit Meeting (May 31, 2005)
Prime Minister Koizumi held a meeting with Mr. Marc Ravalomanana, the President of the Republic of Madagascar.

- The 30th Meeting of the IT Strategic Headquarters (May 30, 2005)
Prime Minister Koizumi said, "Achieving our goal . . . is becoming increasingly feasible. At the same time, we will face some challenges . . . . I ask for your effort and support in this regard."

- Prime Minister Visits Yokosuka City (May 28, 2005)
Prime Minister Koizumi made a tour around Yokosuka Research Park and Nagai Uminote Park-Hill of Soleil.

- Japan-Brazil Summit Meeting (May 26, 2005)
Prime Minister Koizumi held a meeting with Mr. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

[The Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine]

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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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