Vol. 6, No. 2 (February 4, 2010)
The opinions and materials contained herein do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Government of Japan.

 

In this issue

1. Government Decides to Dispatch SDF Units to PKO Mission in Haiti to Assist Reconstruction Work

2. Policy Speech by Prime Minister Hatoyama

3. Foreign Policy Speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs Okada

4. Statement by the Prime Minister on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security of Japan and the U.S.

5. Fun and Games at Orr Elementary School

 

 

Government Decides to Dispatch SDF Units
to PKO Mission in Haiti to Assist Reconstruction Work

Inside the Disaster Relief Airlift Unit
Inside the SDF's International Disaster Relief Airlift
Unit for Haiti (© Ministry of Defense)

-Japan Brief / FPCJ, No.0984
February 1, 2010

The government has decided to dispatch Self-Defense Force personnel to a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Haiti to assist reconstruction work in that Caribbean island country, which suffered devastating damage from a powerful earthquake recently. Based on the International Peace Cooperation Law, the government on January 29 announced that it would dispatch a Ground Self-Defense Force mission of about 350 members, including 190 members from civil engineering units and support personnel, in response to a request from the United Nations Security Council for the dispatch of more personnel to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). This will be the seventh time for the SDF to be dispatched overseas to a peacekeeping operation, the first having been to Cambodia in 1992. It is the first time in eight years for Ground Self-Defense Force personnel to be sent overseas, following a mission to East Timor in 2002. In addition, on January 25 State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Koichi Takemasa, who was attending the Ministerial Conference on Haiti in Montreal, announced that the Japanese government would provide assistance worth approximately US$70 million (approximately 6.3 billion yen) for Haiti.

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Further reading:

Departure of Japan Disaster Relief Team (Japan Self-Defense Forces Unit) -Press release from MOFA (January 21, 2010)

Statement by the Press Secretary/ Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Earthquake in the Republic of Haiti (January 13, 2010)

FEALAC Ministers' statement on the situation in Haiti (January 16, 2010)

 

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Policy Speech by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama

Prime Minister Hatoyama
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (Cabinet Public Relations Office photo)

-Prime Minister Hatoyama
to the 174th Session of the Diet
January 29, 2010

1. Introduction

I want to protect people's lives.

This is my wish: to protect people's lives.

I want to protect the lives of those who are born; of those who grow and mature.

I want to bring change to the sort of society where a young couple gives up having children because the economic burden is cause for unease. We must build a society in which children, who will support our future, are free to pursue their limitless potential.

I want to protect working people's lives.

Securing employment is an urgent issue. In addition to that, however, I want to create a society in which those who have lost their jobs and those who, for a variety of reasons, are continuing to search for work can remain active as members of the community, not losing their...

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Foreign Policy Speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs Katsuya Okada

Foreign Minister Okada
Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada (© MOFA)

-Foreign Minister Okada
to the 174th Session of the Diet
January 29, 2010

At the beginning of the 174th session of the Diet, I wish to outline my thinking on the basic orientation of Japan's foreign policy.

Condolences and Aid Measures for Haiti

I would like to start by offering my heartfelt condolences for those who lost their lives by the recent earthquake in Haiti, as well as my sympathies to all those affected. In addition to the emergency assistance provided up to now through medical activities and others by the Japan Disaster Relief Team, Japan has announced its intention to extend emergency and reconstruction assistance totaling approximately $70 million, and to participate in the peacekeeping operation in Haiti. We will continue to contribute actively to the recovery and reconstruction of Haiti, making good use of our experience and expertise as an earthquake-prone country.

Basic Policy

The international community embarks on new era of cooperation, with the United States President Barack Obama's entrance as one of the momentum. It is through global peace and prosperity and through international cooperation to realize it that...

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Statement by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the signing of the
Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security of Japan and the United States of America

Foreign Minister Okada and Secretary of State Clinton

Foreign Minister Okada and Secretary of State Clinton each marked the occassion of the 50 year anniversary of the treaty signing when they met in Honolulu last month. (© MOFA)

-Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
January 19, 2010

The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security of Japan and the United States of America was signed in Washington D.C. on January 19, 1960 by delegates of Japan and the United States. Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of that day.

The U.S.-Japan security arrangements have greatly contributed to not only to the security of Japan but also the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region. It is not an exaggeration to say that it was thanks to...

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Further reading:

JOINT STATEMENT Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Signing of The U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security (January 19, 2010)

Fiftieth Anniversary of the Japan-US Security Treaty and Deepening of the Japan- US Alliance - Japan Brief/FPCJ, No. 0982 (January 22, 2010)

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Fun and Games at Orr Elementary School

Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki at Orr Elementary School

Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki plays "kamizumo" (paper sumo wrestling) with a 5th grader at Orr Elementary.

-Matthew Cantele
Embassy of Japan

On Thursday, January 14th, Ambassador and Mrs. Ichiro Fujisaki visited the 5 th grade classes of Orr Elementary School in Washington, DC to introduce traditional Japanese games at the opening of the 2010 Embassy Adoption Program (EAP). The EAP is an educational program that, in conjunction with the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) and District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), pairs embassies with fifth and sixth-grade classes throughout the district.

Participating embassies are "adopted" by a class and during the following months embassy representatives visit schools to present various facets of their country's culture. The program culminates in a presentation held at the embassy where students showcase their newfound knowledge for DCPS, WPAS, and host country representatives. As a longtime participant in the EAP, the Embassy of Japan was thrilled to launch this year's program with a visit by the Ambassador and his wife.

Ambassador Fujisaki spoke about his job as the Japanese Ambassador to the US and the many hats he wears in that capacity. Students listened intently as he explained how an ambassador must function as a journalist, policy analyst, negotiator, and steward of US-Japan relations. Mrs. Fujisaki then joined him to demonstrate how to play ayatori, a traditional Japanese game that uses a string to form various figures. The students were keen to try their hand after seeing a number of tricks and so Ambassador and Mrs. Fujisaki led them step by step through one of the shapes.

Ambassador and Mrs. Fujisaki at Orr Elementary School

Ambassador and Mrs. Ichiro Fujisaki teach Orr Elementary 5th graders traditional Japanese string figures.

 

Following ayatori, students folded Japanese newspaper into kabuto, or samurai helmets, and after donning their origami kabuto proceeded to try other traditional Japanese games such as kendama, daruma-otoshi, and kamizumo. Finally it was time for a brief introduction to Japanese food, including a variety of norimaki rolls for the students to eat and an overview of chopsticks. As the students poured outside for recess, they could be heard shouting Japanese words and enthusiastically recounting their time with the Ambassador and his wife.

 

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