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Statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the Passing of Former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa

June 28, 2007

Mr. Kiichi Miyazawa, former Prime Minister, passed away today.

Mr. Miyazawa devoted himself wholeheartedly to the reconstruction of the Japanese economy, assuming the heavy responsibilities of the Prime Minister of Japan during an extremely challenging period of recession after the collapse of the bubble economy.

Mr. Miyazawa left the indelible impression of Japan's policy of contributing sincerely to world peace and prosperity. It was under Mr. Miyazawa's leadership that the International Peace Cooperation Law was enacted, which paved the way for the Self-Defense Forces to participate in United Nations Peace Keeping Operations, at a time when the international community was seeking a new modality of peace and order with the end of the Cold War regime. Mr. Miyazawa also actively developed summit diplomacy during the 1993 Tokyo Summit, fully exploiting his outstanding knowledge and broad span of international personal contacts.

I am deeply and truly saddened by the loss of this prominent leader.

I join the people of Japan in sincerely mourning his passing