Link to move in page

Global navigation
Global navigation end
From here to text

New Year's Greetings Takehiko Endo

January 1, 2004

Takehiko Endo
Japan makes every effort for the resolution of the abduction issue and supports of Iraq rebuilding, And contributes to world peace, not giving in to terrorism

I wish you a Happy New Year.
I sincerely hope that 2004 will be a year of peace and freedom.

       Looking back over the last year, Japan faced a number of difficult issues. In foreign relations, for example, some serious challenges remain unresolved.
       On November 29, 2003, Ambassador Katsuhiko Oku and First Secretary Masamori Inoue were murdered by terrorists near the Iraqi city of Tikrit. It was truly a tragic incident. The Japanese people mourned their senseless deaths and felt anger toward such acts of terrorism. Japan is now doubly determined to tackle the problem of rebuilding Iraq by not giving in to terrorism. We believe Japan’s mission should also be to ensure the two murdered Japanese officials do not die in vain.

       The abduction issue by North Korea has also angered us. North Korea is clearly guilty of committing a crime against humanity.  Without the full resolution of the abduction issue, we can not normalize relations with North Korea. We have been working toward a solution by taking every opportunity including the Six-country talks over North Korea's nuclear program. Last year, the LDP established a headquarters for the North Korea abduction issue. As we all know, some of the families of the abductees now live in Japan and some remain in North Korea. We are concerned about the safety of the families remaining in North Korea. We will make every effort to resolve the abduction issue aiming at the earliest return home of these people.

       We had much good news, too. Many Japanese people exercised their outstanding talents in art, movies, sports, and academic fields. We are looking forward to many Japanese playing active roles on their respective international stages again this year.

       This year is the year of the Monkey according to the Japanese calendar. A national treasure, the three-monkey wooden sculpture in Toshogu Shrine, Nikko, embodies the proverb “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. But I believe what we need now is to act exactly the opposite way, in other words, we must see, hear, and speak out in need.

       I desire that Japan will positively promote international diplomacy in the international community and make every effort to contribute to the world peace through international cooperation.

       I wish you all the very best for 2004.

The text ends here

Back to Top