Abe Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.32 (June 7, 2007) ============================================================
"Hello, this is Shinzo Abe" -- Message from the Prime Minister
The Government is doing everything in its power to clear up people's anxieties about the nation's pension system as quickly as possible.
In my e-mail magazine last week, I wrote about the specific measures we are taking. For more details, please take a look at this week's e-mail magazine and the website of the Prime Minister's Office. (This information is available in Japanese only.)
This week, my report comes to you from Germany. Yesterday I held meetings in Berlin with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. We had very frank and candid talks, and I am confident that we were able to confirm a further strengthening of the relationship between Japan and Europe.
I have now left Berlin and am on the plane to Heiligendamm. My first G8 Summit will be under way shortly. The Summit, a meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the leading industrial nations, began in 1975, when the leaders of six major countries gathered together at Rambouillet Castle in France to discuss ways of getting out of the global economic depression following the oil crisis.
Canada and Russia joined the group in the years following, thus forming the current Group of Eight (G8). The group has discussed not only economic matters but also, more broadly, international politics and the response of the international community.
The climate change issue is a major theme of this year's Summit in Heiligendamm, a city that boasts beautiful white-sand beaches.
The tricky part of climate change is that although it is an unprecedented issue that threatens the very existence of humanity, it is difficult to gauge the gravity of the situation in our day-to-day lives.
Its impact is all too real, however.
According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the average temperature has increased by approximately 0.7 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years since the Industrial Revolution. Furthermore, the report indicates that the average temperature may rise by up to 6.4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.
There is concern that the rise in temperature will trigger heavy floods and droughts and increase health hazards by infectious diseases. It will lead to depletion of water resources and food crises. It is also feared that the increase in frequency of heat waves and catastrophic hurricanes and typhoons around the world over the last several years is another effect of global warming.
Those in politics must squarely accept this scientific knowledge and take immediate action.
It was in this belief that I recently unveiled a new proposal entitled "Cool Earth 50" to the world at large. First and foremost I proposed setting a target of "cutting greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2050" as a common goal for the world. To achieve this goal, Japan will advance a long-term strategy that includes developing innovative technologies.
Japan's ratio of CO2 emissions to GDP is the lowest in the world. We have taken the world lead in having established a model that achieves compatibility between environmental protection and economic growth. Therefore, I am strongly convinced that in this area in particular Japan can lead the world and make its greatest contribution to the international community.
Over the past 30 years, Japan has succeeded in reducing its oil consumption by 8 percent, even as the GDP has doubled. Japan boasts the world's highest production of solar batteries. Over one million Japanese hybrid cars have reached the world market. Japan can contribute to the world by utilizing these advanced environment-friendly and energy-conserving technologies.
The next step in this colossal challenge facing humanity is determining how to establish a post-Kyoto Protocol international framework. I put forth my vision for designing such a framework in the form of three principles.
First, all major emitters of greenhouse gases must participate in the framework.
The global warming issue cannot be resolved through measures taken only by Japan and a few other countries. There are no national boundaries for the air. It will be meaningless unless all nations cooperate with a sense of awareness.
Second, the framework must be flexible and diverse, taking into consideration the circumstances of each country.
There are many developing countries seeking to grow their economies. Even today, people in some countries are living without electricity. These countries have the right to grow, with industrialized countries acting as their models. Japan must guide and show these countries how they can develop while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Third, the framework must achieve compatibility between environmental protection and economic growth.
The world will not come on board if the message is "Stop growth and go back to a primitive life." Paving the path to the next era through innovation -- this is the model for which the world is hoping.
At the upcoming Summit, I hope to engage in discussions with leaders on "Cool Earth 50."
There is a large gap between the stance of the United States and that of the European Union (EU). China holds yet another view. Nonetheless, I am determined to make my best effort so that countries all over the world can work on the same platform.
I will let you know more about the Heiligendamm Summit and its outcomes in next week's e-mail magazine.
- Keynote address by Prime Minister Abe by video at the "GLOBE Forum"in Germany
- Invitation to "Cool Earth 50"
- Prime Minister's Week in Review (May 21 to 27, 2007)
- 2008 HOKKAIDO TOYAKO G8 SUMMIT JAPAN
- Japan-EU Summit (June 5, 2007)
- Meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy in 2007 (June 4, 2007)
- General Meeting of the Education Rebuilding Council (June 1, 2007)
- Prime Minister Attends a Demonstration of Next-Generation Vehicles and Fuels (June 1, 2007)
- First Day of Cool Biz (June 1, 2007)
- Meeting of the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters (May 31, 2007)
- Prime Minister Receives a Report from the Decentralization Reform Committee (May 31, 2007)
- Reader's Comment on the e-mail magazine is available only to the subscribers.
- Click below to make comments on administration of Japan
|Subscription||Back to the Top of the Abe Cabinet E-Mail Magazine|