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Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 216 (Dec. 22, 2005 - Jan. 5, 2006)
* Next issue will be delivered on January 12, 2006.

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

Prime Minister Junichiro KoizumiProfile Japanese

Reflecting on a revolutionary year

Junichiro Koizumi here.

With just a little over a week left in the year, this issue of the e-mail magazine wraps up the year.

Looking back, this year was indeed a tumultuous one year over the course of which we thought about how best Japan could extend a helping hand to those suffering from the immense damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Sumatra. There was also EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan, COOL BIZ, the unexpected dissolution of the Diet and the general election, as well as the enactment of the Law of the Privatization of the Postal Services backed by the support of the people.

I have been advancing reform, saying that we must first approach the ultimate target of the reform by bringing opinion together, both externally and internally. Having at last achieved the "ultimate target," secondary and tertiary reforms no longer face opposition. In order then to pick up the pace of reform and sprint ahead, we were able to decide on a clear policy for reform, namely, the reform package of the three issues on subsidy, tax sources and local allocation tax, reform of government-related financial organizations, reform of the medical system, and the reform of the personnel cost of civil servants. Furthermore, I have given instructions to keep the issuance of government bonds close to 30 trillion yen as much as possible for the next fiscal year's budget.

As a result, the FY2006 budget reflects the reform policy in concrete form. In addition, expenditure across the board has been thoroughly reviewed, and we were able to cut the general account expenditure to less than 80 trillion yen for the first time in eight years. Tax revenue is expected to increase for the second straight year, reflecting the recovering economy, and we were able to keep the amount of the issuance of new government bonds for the next fiscal year to below 30 trillion yen as I had instructed.

I have been advancing reform sticking to the policy that "without reform there will be no growth," and this policy is beginning to bear fruit. Next year I will continue to strive toward reform so that the spirit of "If you do it, it will happen" that has emerged across Japanese society will become even more powerful.

On Monday, December 19, I test rode an electric car that a university jointly developed with corporations. The car has eight tires, and each one of them is attached to a 100 horsepower electric motor. With 800 horsepower in total, the car can travel at a speed of 370 kilometers per hour. It is powered by a lithium battery, the same battery that operates a cell phone. It would come as no surprise if I saw this sports car in a sci-fi film and yet all it takes is one yen to go a distance of one kilometer! The Government intends to support the development of this car so that not before long we can see this car put to practical use.

Recently, there have been a series of heart-wrenching incidents involving young children across Japan. In order to protect the safety of children and reassure their families, administrative bodies and communities must also join forces and work together with the police. I have heard of the expression "the critical 8 hours," referring to the eight hours from 2 pm until 10 pm. This is the window of time when parents are not at home due to work and other reasons and the children are most in danger of falling victim to crime or even turning to crime. The Government is resolved to do everything it can to prevent such crimes, while calling on volunteers and others in the private sector for their help. I also urge people to actively participate in the activities to protect the safety of our communities so that we can keep Japan safe and reassuring.

I wish you all a pleasant and happy New Year.

* 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]

- Ministerial Meeting Concerning Measures Against Crime (December 20, 2005)
At the meeting, a report was presented on the measures complied by the "Inter-Ministerial Meeting Concerning Measures to Protect Children from Crime."

- Ministerial Meeting on Economic Measures (December 19, 2005)
The "Economic Outlook for FY2006 and Basic Economic and Fiscal Management Measures" was adopted at the meeting and approved at the extraordinary Cabinet meeting.

- Representatives of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) Pay Courtesy Call on Prime Minister (December 19, 2005)
Prime Minister Koizumi offered words, "I hope you all will . . . give your best efforts for the development of your nation, as well as to further develop the friendly relations with Japan."

- The First Meeting of the Headquarters for the Promotion of the Reform of Policy-based Finance (December 16, 2005)
Prime Minister Koizumi said, "I would like to see the Cabinet work together in unity to promote the reform for the interests of the nation, not the interests of the ministries."

- President of the Federation Internationale de Football Association(FIFA) Pays a Courtesy Call on Prime Minister (December 15, 2005)
Prime Minister Koizumi and Mr. Joseph S. Blatter, the President of FIFA, held in hand while taking a commemorative photograph after the two had signed the ball.

- The ASEAN+3, Japan-ASEAN and East Asia Summit (EAS) Summit Meetings (December 12 to 14, 2005)

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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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