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Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

Welcome Speech from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at East Asia Low Carbon Growth Partnership Dialogue

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thank you very much for kindly coming to this East Asia Low Carbon Growth Partnership Dialogue today. I would like to wish all of you a very warm welcome.

More than one year has passed since the March 11th 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. First, on behalf of the Japanese people, I would like to express my most sincere gratitude for the warm support and encouragement we received from each country all over the world.

Although this severest-ever disaster has given numerous considerations and lessons, what is the most fundamental and biggest question given on the whole human-beings? I think that it was "what is the sustainable society?"

In Japan, there has been a historical thought which values the harmony with nature. It tells that human should be humble to the "blessing" and "threat" of great nature by believing that all the greenery has its own sprit. Based on its tradition, Japan has historical responsibilities to promote the world to reconsider how the civilization is harmonized with nature.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the historical 1992 Earth Summit and the adoption of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The efforts to establish a framework to tackle climate change are entering a new phase built on the outcome of COP17. This year provides us with a significant opportunity for human beings to reconsider what we should do toward the realization of "sustainable society" and renew our commitment to it.

The members of East Asia Summit gathering here are those who take the major responsibilities. This region is the growth center of the world, which leads the global economy, but we should also realize that it is the source of the world's largest greenhouse gas emissions, too.

Is it sustainable until the generation of our children and grandchildren if we rely on the growth based on resource consumption? I'm afraid the answer is no. Now it is historically inevitable to seek "low-carbon growth" where the prosperity doesn't bring about the shortfall of energy or climate change.

I proposed the East Asia Low Carbon Growth Partnership at the East Asia Summit last November.  Our Dialogue today is taking place with your participation as the first concrete step of under this initiative.

My biggest message is that the achievement of low-carbon growth leads to build "win-win" relationship among countries.

We can surely accelerate low-carbon growth in the whole region by sharing the knowledge and experience of each country including Japan having the advanced "power-saving" technology which marks the best energy efficiency in the world. I hope our Dialogue will present an ideal new growth model from this region to the world, and I am looking forward to lively discussions here today.

Even after the great disaster, Japan's positive stance toward "sustainable society" remains unchanged. I conclude my speech with swearing this determination and welcoming your participation.

Thank you very much.

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