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Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 218 (January 19, 2006)

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

Prime Minister Junichiro KoizumiProfile Japanese

Attending the regular Diet session

Junichiro Koizumi here.

At the end of last year, on December 28, I held the Meeting of the Government and Ruling Parties on Measures for Protection Against Cold Waves and Damage from Snow amid unusually heavy snowfalls in various regions of Japan since the beginning of last December.

Aware that these snowfalls brought about serious damage across Japan, immediately after I returned from Turkey last Friday I went straight to my office and as a top priority received a briefing on the extent of the damage. I am deeply distressed for the elderly, nursery children and the many precious lives that were lost to the snow.

While continuing our cooperative efforts with the local authorities, the Government will channel all efforts to respond to this disaster, including the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces (SDF) for removing snow from roads, clearing snow from rooftops of the homes of the elderly, and transporting goods to communities where roads have been blocked off by snow. We will also use the Disaster Relief Act and allocate a budget for snow removal from roads as an emergency measure.

I have directed the local authorities as well as the police force, fire department and the SDF to be prepared to respond quickly at all times given that snowfalls in the heavy snow region are expected to continue for some time.

Yesterday afternoon I visited small- and medium-sized enterprises in Tokyo; one of which was a small metal processing factory of six employees located in Sumida Ward. This factory uses its unique technology to develop and produce a painless syringe needle as thin as 0.2 millimeters in diameter at its tip. The needle was tried on my arm, and indeed it did not hurt at all. I am sure with this needle people can get shots without worrying about the pain and with peace of mind.

The other place I visited was a showroom of a ribbon manufacturer located in Taito Ward. The company receives worldwide attention, boasting a wide selection of 40,000 types of vivid-colored ribbons which have drawn the interest of the topnotch designers in Paris, New York and other cities of the world, and are used in the latest fashion these trendsetters establish.

I was both encouraged and proud that the small- and medium-sized enterprises in Japan support the vitality of the Japanese economy and society through their manufacturing technologies and skills for generating attractive designs, as well as of the fact that these enterprises are operating on a global scale.

The regular Diet session is due to start tomorrow. The biggest item on the Koizumi Cabinet agenda is to bring the Japanese economy, which is at last showing signs of recovery, back onto its track for full recovery and to nurture the buds of reform into a large tree.

Firstly, I will give my all to gain the approval of the Diet at the earliest date possible for the supplementary budget for FY2005 to respond to issues such as natural disasters, asbestos, potential human pandemic influenza, and falsification of earthquake-resistance data, as well as the FY2006 budget.

The day before yesterday, I received an old Chinese poem enclosed in a frame from Head Priest Adachi of Engakuji Temple, which reads, "If more distant views are what you desire, climb a storey higher." I renewed my resolve to engage in politics while keeping close to heart this quote which means, "One shall not be caught up in earthly trivial matters. It is important to see the grand picture since it is essential that one has a broader perspective."

* 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]

- Prime Minister Observes Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Tokyo (January 18, 2006)
Prime Minister Koizumi observed small- and medium-sized enterprises in Tokyo, which support the Japanese economy and society through their technologies and skills.

- Commendations for Contributors to the Promotion of a Barrier-free Environment (January 17, 2006)
Prime Minister Koizumi said, "I hope the commendation will help the recipients further promote their activities and contribute to advance a barrier-free environment."

- Prime Minister Visits Turkey (January 10 to 12, 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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