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Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 241 (July 6, 2006)

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

Prime Minister Junichiro KoizumiProfile Japanese

Protest against North Korea's missile launches/
Japan-US alliance in the global context

Junichiro Koizumi here.

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:

Mr. President,

It was exactly five years ago, June 30th, 2001, that I first met with you. After our talks, the President and I played catch in the woods of Camp David. Since then, based upon our heartfelt friendship, we have nurtured this vital bilateral relationship and have joined together as close allies to tackle a diverse set of challenges.

Actually, I believe it was thanks to that game of catch with the President that I was able to feel confident when I stood on the pitcher's mound and threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium in September 2004. USA Today reported that it was, and I quote, "a near perfect strike!"

The President often mentions in public that Japan and the United States went from being enemies during World War II to become the closest of allies and leading members of the community of free and democratic nations.

In the new year of 1946--only several months after the end of war--then Emperor Showa composed a Japanese traditional poem, which reads, "Courageous pine--enduring the snow that is piling up, color unchanging. Let people be like this."

I can imagine the Emperor gazing at a pine tree in his palace and reading out this poem, at the time when our land was devastated and our people were depressed by Japan's defeat. The snow is heavily piling up, and almost all the trees' leaves are either gone or have changed colors. However, this pine stands firm without losing its needles or changing its color. I think the Emperor wished our people to be like the pine, when he wrote this poem for encouraging the people in the most difficult of times.

Since then, the people of Japan have strived to fulfill this poem's spirit by hard work and discipline. At the same time, Japan will never forget that it was also the generous support provided by the United States after the War that contributed heavily to Japan's remarkable postwar development.

During the War, the people in Japan were taught to fear and hate the Americans as if they were monsters, but the Americans who arrived in front of us in fact came with warm and generous hearts. The Japanese people are still impressed with, as well as grateful for, the generosity of the United States and the American people.

In March 1865, just before the end of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln spoke to his audience in his second inaugural address, "With malice toward none, with charity for all, . . . let us strive on . . . to bind up the nation's wounds . . . to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

I believe, it was this American spirit that lifted the hearts of our Japanese people, made Japan's reconstruction possible and built a foundation for the solid friendship between our two nations.

It is such an impressive thing that our two nations, who once fought against each other, now share common values and together, as close friends and allies, are tackling a wide variety of challenges around the world.

9/11 was an attack not solely against your country. It was a challenge against all of us, the entire human race, and all those who respect human dignity and freedom. Terrorism and the proliferation of WMDs threaten the basic fundamentals of our life. I would like to pay my sincerest respect to President Bush, who has been so steadfast and determined in protecting freedom and democracy.

I sometimes see the image of the United States as Gary Cooper in my favorite movie, "High Noon." Marshal Cooper stood up alone with courage and justice against four outlaw men. However, there is one huge difference between that marshal and the United States. The United States is not alone when facing the evils that exist today. The United States is always with its allies and friends. And Japan stands by the United States of America.

The President and I both recognize the importance of the Japan- US alliance as we, at the same time, cooperate with many other nations around the world, as well as with the United Nations. Japan is determined to further develop this cooperation with the United States on a wide variety of issues ranging from the fight against terrorism, to democratization and reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq, to alleviation of poverty, to natural disaster relief.

Tomorrow, the President, Mrs. Bush and I are going to visit Memphis, Tennessee, home to Elvis Presley. When I was young, my exposure to "America" was Presley, which is a vivid memory of my youth. The first English song I ever learned by heart was Presley's "I want you, I need you, I love you."

Mr. President, Mrs. Bush, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to propose a toast to the further enhancement of the Japan-US relationship. In the words of Elvis, "I want you, I need you, I love you," as those lyrics suggest, I hope that our two nations, sharing fundamental values and interests, will continue to be essential to each other, will cooperate for world peace and prosperity, and will further enrich our bilateral relationship.


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.

[What's New in Government Internet TV]

- Redeployment of Self-defense Force in Iraq

[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Japan-Dominican Republic Summit Meeting (July 3, 2006)
Prime Minister Koizumi held a meeting with His Excellency Dr. Leonel Fernandez, the President of the Dominican Republic.

- Awards Ceremony to Present the Prime Minister's Commendations on Contributors to Public Safety (July 3, 2006)
25 individuals and organizations were presented the commendations on their achievements in preventing the outbreak of disasters such as industrial disasters, traffic accidents, and fires.

- Prime Minister Visits Canada and the United States (June 27 to July 1, 2006)

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General Editor: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Jinen Nagase
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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