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Prime Minister Delivers an Address at the National Defense Academy Graduation Ceremony
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi attended the graduation ceremony at the National Defense Academy located in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, and delivered an address in front of this year's 380 graduates.
In his address, Prime Minister Koizumi said, "In recent years, some countries have been carrying forward with the escalation of arms in a manner that lacks transparency. Influenced by such factors as these countries' intentions, there is a strong tendency for the technology related to weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles to proliferate erratically. The activities of international terrorist organizations are still carried out rampantly as well," and indicated the pressing challenges faced by the international community today. Furthermore, Prime Minister Koizumi congratulated the graduates, underlining the significance of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in international peace activities. He said, "Our Self-Defense Forces receive high evaluations from the international community as a group that practices and spreads the goodwill of the Japanese people. Their good reputation comes from their participation in international peace and cooperation activities for more than 10 years since the first dispatch of troops for peace-keeping operations (PKO) in Cambodia. They are also highly evaluated for their refueling activities in the Indian Ocean, which are conducted as part of anti-terrorism measures, as well as their dedicated humanitarian and reconstruction assistance activities in Iraq."