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In this issue:

  • Foreign Minister Maehara's visit to Washington, DC and Florida

  • "Opening a New Horizon in the Asia Pacific"

  • Remarks by Foreign Minister Maehara and Secretary Clinton

  • New Year's Reflection by Prime Minister Kan


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    Foreign Minister Maehara's visit to Washington, DC and Florida


    Minister Maehara, Vice President Biden
    Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara with US Vice President Joe Biden (© MOFA)

    -Embassy of Japan
    January 9, 2011

    During his four day visit to the United States, Foreign Minister Maehara met with Secretary Clinton, Vice President Biden, other US officials and experts, Japanese-American leaders, and Florida Governor Rick Scott. Meanwhile, his wife was busy paying visits to several organizations in DC, including the Children's Inna the National Institutes of Health.

    Read all about their visit

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    "Opening a New Horizon in the Asia Pacific"


    Foreign Minister Maehara
    Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (© MOFA)

    -H.E. Seiji Maehara
    Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan

    Center for Strategic and International Studies
    January 6, 2011

    Editor's note: You can also watch the video of the Foreign Minister's speech at the CSIS here.

    I am truly grateful for this opportunity to speak today at CSIS, one of the leading think tanks of the United States. It was exactly five years ago that I last had the pleasure of speaking here. During these years, political landscape in Japan underwent a significant transformation with the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) achieving the change of government, and CSIS has consistently attached importance to the Japan-US relations and conducted steady research on the subject. I think the latent power of the United States is rooted on the presence of think tanks like the CSIS that analyze information and make policy recommendations, and take on extremely useful and constructive roles in shaping public opinions, both domestic and international. I would like to express my respect to Dr. John Hamre, President of CSIS, Dr. Michael Green, who has led the highly respected Japan Chair and other experts of CSIS for their continued efforts and contributions to society.

    I majored in international politics at Kyoto University. My academic advisor and mentor, Professor Masataka Kosaka, before he passed away, gave me several instructions as his last will. One of them was that Japan-US relations...

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    Remarks by Foreign Minister Maehara and Secretary Clinton


    Minister Maehara and Secretary Clinton
    Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo: U.S. Department of State)

    -Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara
    January 24, 2011

    Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara met with Secretary Clinton at the U.S. Department of State on January 6th to discuss bilateral matters. Afterwards, the two briefly answered questions for the press. You can watch the video and read the transcript at the website of the Department of State, here.


    Read the remarks

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    New Year's Reflection by Prime Minister Kan


    -Prime Minister Naoto Kan
    January 1, 2011

    Editor's note: In his New Year's Reflections, Prime Minister Kan outlines his vision of 2011 as the "21st century opening of Japan," a year to reduce human suffering to a minimum, and a year for politics that "rectify absurdities." To read how he responded to questions from the press on these matters, see the press conference transcript on the Cabinet's website.

    Happy new year to everyone. It is my sincere wish that this year be a wonderful one for each and every person in Japan.

    Half a year has passed since the launch of the Kan administration. Having taken up "revitalizing Japan by building the nation through growth and employment" as the goal for my Cabinet, we have implemented economic countermeasures centering on the supplementary budget, and in preparation for the next fiscal year we have compiled a "budget to bring vigor back to Japan." This incorporates the greatest possible assistance to foster greater peace of mind and vibrancy. Through the public's broad-based understanding and endorsement, we must pass this budget in the Diet. In view of this, here as we enter a new year I would like to set out once more the directions forward and principles for the building of the nation for which I am striving.

    The first principle for building the nation is "the 21st-century opening of Japan". The rise of emerging economies is dramatically shifting global power relationships on both the security and economic fronts. In light of such circumstances, there are concerns that Japan may be becoming increasing inward-focused, as symbolized by the decreasing number of Japanese studying overseas. In an international society facing major changes that can be likened to a tectonic shift...

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