TOKYO, January 1 -- Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday in a New
Year speech that Japan will continue working on building forward-looking
relationships of trust with China and South Korea.
Abe expressed his resolution in 2007 to mend ties with the two neighbors when
he talked about international affairs in the speech.
The premier also said that Japan will seek a peaceful and diplomatic
resolution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issues " through the six-party talks
framework." He noted that he would endeavor to resolve the abduction issue.
The premier also vowed to continue Japan's support to the reconstruction of
Iraq through providing airlift support by the Air Self-Defense Force and
government development assistance.
On domestic affairs, Abe talked about his determination to have Japan's
pacifist Constitution rewritten. 2007 is the 60th anniversary of the founding of
the Constitution. Abe said that he expected the Japanese people to discuss
extensively about the issue.
House of Representatives Speaker Yohei Kono, in a New Year statement, spoke
highly of Abe's visit to China and South Korea in October. It was "the first
step" in establishing a right attitude over history and "building
future-oriented partnership," he said, adding that Japan should take the
opportunity to improve ties with neighboring countries and seek to construct
international order based on dialogues.