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New Year Greeting from the Defense Minister

New Year Greeting from the Defense Minister

Happy New Year. I took office as the sixty-eighth Minister of State for Defense in September 2006, and will become Japan's first Minister of Defense on January 9 this year, charged with overseeing the Ministry of Defense and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). I brace myself for the weight of my responsibility to protect our nation's peace and safety in the new security environment.
    On December 15 last year, a bill amending the Defense Agency Establishment Law and other legislation to enable the long-awaited transition of the Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense and make international peace cooperation activities primary missions of the SDF was passed by the National Diet by an overwhelming majority and became law. I am deeply moved by this development. I believe that it was made possible because the people of Japan have watched over the Defense Agency and the SDF with hope and expectation.
    Ever since I was previously appointed Minister of State for Defense 10 years ago, I have dealt with defense and security matters and have taken part in the drafting of numerous bills in these areas. During these 10 years I have experienced firsthand the great rise in the people's expectations of the Defense Agency and the SDF. This is why I am determined to work to enhance the quality of the Ministry of Defense and the SDF to respond to the people's expectations. As a policy government organization in charge of dealing with our nation's security issues, the Ministry of world and other matters in a way that will make it worthy of its status as a ministry.
    In closing, I sincerely wish that this year may be a fruitful one for all our readers.

Fumio Kyuma
January 1, 2007