Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 241 (July 6, 2006)
[Lion Heart -- Message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi]
From the early hours of yesterday, North Korea fired ballistic missiles on several instances.
North Korea went ahead with the missile launches in spite of advance warnings from the countries concerned including Japan. This is a serious issue from the standpoint of the security of Japan and the peace and stability of the international community, as well as from the standpoint of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), and may constitute a violation of the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration.
Japan has immediately lodged a vehement protest against North Korea. We strongly urge North Korea to reconfirm its moratorium on missile launch, to follow through on the moratorium and to expeditiously return to the Six-Party Talks without preconditions.
The Government has decided to impose sanctions against North Korea, including a ban on the entry of Man Gyong Bong. Japan will further enhance its cooperation with the United States (US) in accordance with the Japan-US alliance, as well as further advance its coordination with the countries concerned including other parties to the Six-Party Talks. At the same time, Japan will call on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to take appropriate measures.
Last week I visited Ottawa, the capital of Canada. On June 28, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and I discussed cooperation toward expanded economic relations between Japan and Canada, as well as the issue of North Korea, the G8 Summit and other matters that require cooperation between Japan and Canada in the international community. This was my first meeting with Prime Minister Harper who took office in February of this year, and the two of us were able to have a very thorough discussion.
I arrived in Washington, DC that same afternoon, and on the next day, the 29th, I had a meeting with President George W. Bush following the Arrival Ceremony at the White House.
In addition to bilateral relations including the issue of the realignment of US forces in Japan, our discussions covered wide- ranging topics relating to the peace and safety of the world and other issues such as the fight against terrorism, reconstruction assistance in Iraq and Afghanistan, North Korea's nuclear, missile and abduction issues, Iran's nuclear development, UN reform, energy and environment, and poverty alleviation and disease control measures.
We talked at length on the issue of North Korea. President Bush said he was moved when he met Mrs. Sakie Yokota, a family member of one of the abductees. Anyone whose child suffered a similar tragedy would naturally be grieved and Mr. and Mrs. Yokota's grief is shared by every Japanese and American.
Japan has attached importance to Japan-US relations over the 60 years since the end of World War II. We have also maintained international coordination while recognizing the importance of Japan-US relations because we have continued to believe that this was the best choice in light of the lessons of the War.
This is the basis of Japan's foreign policy and this will remain unchanged.
There is a view that if Japan-US relations are no longer favorable, this should be offset by Japan's relations with other countries. I, however, do not share this view. My belief is that the better the relations are between Japan and the US, the more favorable Japan's relations will be with Asian countries such as China and the Republic of Korea (ROK).
There seems to be some misunderstanding. I am by no means saying that what happens to Japan's relations with other countries is of little consequence as long as Japan-US relations are good. I am simply saying that no relations are as important as Japan-US relations.
Japan achieved remarkable growth and development after the War. This was possible only because Japan learned from the lessons of the War, attached importance to Japan-US relations and built international coordination. Japan intends to cooperate with countries around the world to resolve the various challenges faced by the world by reinforcing and enhancing the Japan-US alliance in the global context.
At the State Dinner at the White House on the evening of June 29, I gave the following remarks in English:
I visited Memphis, Tennessee the following day, where I was greeted by Ms. Priscilla Presley, the former wife of Elvis Presley, as well as Ms. Lisa Marie Presley, their daughter. I lost my sense of time as I studied the many memorabilia of this great star at Graceland. I would like to offer my heartfelt gratitude to the people of the US beginning with the President and Mrs. Bush, who welcomed me to their country.
Memphis is also where the father of the American Civil Rights Movement Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., known for his famous speech, "I have a dream," was assassinated. I also visited the National Civil Rights Museum, where the site of his assassination is preserved.
The Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Structural Reform will be decided this weekend. The policies will serve as the fundamental guideline for our mid-term economic growth strategy and restoring financial health. Next week, I will visit Israel, Palestine and Jordan in the Middle East, then attend the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg in Russia.
Japan, as a responsible member of the international community, will further engage in efforts to tackle the various challenges faced by the international community with the Japan-US alliance and international coordination as the basis of foreign policy.
* Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush conversing cheerfully on Air Force One
* 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.
- Redeployment of Self-defense Force in Iraq
- Japan-Dominican Republic Summit Meeting (July 3, 2006)
- Awards Ceremony to Present the Prime Minister's Commendations on Contributors to Public Safety (July 3, 2006)
- Prime Minister Visits Canada and the United States (June 27 to July 1, 2006)
- Reader's Comment on the e-mail magazine is available only to the subscribers.
- Click below to make comments on administration of Japan
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