"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Address by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at the Ceremony for the Presentation of the Unit Flag to the International Peace Cooperation Corps to the Republic of South Sudan

[Date] January 7, 2012
[Source] Prime Minister of JAPAN and His Cabinet
[Full text]

At the Ceremony for the Presentation of the Unit Flag to the International Peace Cooperation Corps to the Republic of South Sudan, as Prime Minister of Japan I would like to deliver a message of encouragement to corps members.

Today I would like all members of the corps, led by Colonel Toru Namatame and Lieutenant Colonel Teruo Sakama, who will be engaging in operations in South Sudan, to take to heart the following three words.

The first word is "expectations."

South Sudan is the world's newest country, having gained its independence in July last year. The country faced a long and troubled period leading up to its independence. It is naturally the case that the people of South Sudan should engage in nation building efforts themselves; however, they cannot achieve their goals alone. The assistance of the international community is required. Japan also received a request for assistance from Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. One of the most particular expectations for nation building is the development of infrastructure, most notably roads, which is the work that you will be engaging in while in South Sudan. The people of South Sudan will be looking intently at the work that you do. The expectations of the international community are also equally high. I want you to do your utmost to fulfill these "expectations" with distinction.

The second word is "appreciation."

On March 11 last year Japan was stricken by the tremendous disaster caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. We subsequently received warm and generous assistance from more than 160 countries and regions. While Japan must continue to work earnestly towards reconstruction, we must not look inward but continue to take up global challenges with boldness and courage, thereby demonstrating to the international community our "appreciation." The dispatch of the International Peace Cooperation Corps to South Sudan on this occasion is the first step to achieving this aim. I want you all to demonstrate the "repayment of a kindness" through your devotion to duty while on dispatch.

The third word is "pride."

To date the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) of Japan have engaged in a variety of international peace cooperation operations in such locations as the Golan Heights, East Timor and Haiti. The great discipline and diligent way in which such operations have been carried out have gained great praise from the international community. This is a source of pride for the SDF and indeed a source of pride for the nation. I want you to always remember this "pride" as you engage in your duties.

It can be expected that you may face difficulties in an operation in Africa, a region distant from Japan. The families of the unit members who are gathered here today will also probably be worried. I pledge to you that the Government will make comprehensive efforts to provide back-up support that will enable all unit members to engage smoothly in their duties in safety and security.

I close my address to you with the wish that you will execute your duties with distinction, always bearing in mind the three words of "expectations," "appreciation" and "pride." I hope that you will all engage with the task at hand with vigor and with a ready smile and I look forward to hearing reports of your achievements.

January 7, 2012

Yoshihiko Noda

Prime Minister of Japan