Defense Minister's Remarks

New Year's Address by Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada  (January 5, 2009)

(Provisional Translation)

A happy new year to each of you!
To mark the start of 2009, I would like to deliver an address of instructions.

First of all, let me express my heartfelt gratitude and respect for the performances achieved by each of you. Last year, we saw many issues of concern and other problems which drew people's attention. On the other hand, the Ministry of Defense and the Self-Defense Forces earned many high evaluations at home and abroad, as we displayed our abilities in the international arena as well and showed the achievements of our activities to Japanese people. It is my earnest wish to make this year the time for further progress for all of us. However, a great many difficulties lie ahead of you. But I think that we will see a bright future, if we once again confirm our missions and carry them out in an open and dignified manner.

Trust and patience?I hope that these two words will be significant for myself and all of you, and that we will work throughout this year with them in our mind.

As I have always stated, you are the precious assets of the people of this country. The harder you endeavor, the more the people will understand how precious you are as assets.

I ask each of you to strive to do your best throughout this year, and once again confirm the missions assigned to you and make this year a truly fruitful one. I would like to conclude my New Year address with my heartfelt wishes for your very best achievements. Thank you.