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of the ESM's capital in 2012. France pre-empted that decision, which has already been approved by parliament. Let me remind you that parliament approved a ?6.5 billion stake in the ESM's capital.We must promote growth, competitiveness, research and innovation. The European Council today recommends, for example, reducing the tax burden on labour. That is exactly our strategy. So it is a huge relief to see European summits no longer being devoted to the financial crisis. And it is a huge relief to see that the crisis is no longer in the news - as it was morning, noon and night -, because we are in the process of turning a page on this financial crisis. We must now put all our strength into gradually alleviating the economic crisis. n This is an excerpt from the press conference given by President Nicolas Sarkozy on 2 March 2012 in Brussells. Source: The French Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs. g8 member countries 025

The Rebirth of JapanYoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister, Japan Drawing on the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster for the future, is one of the historic missions that we must fulfill. The excuse that the "unexpected" has happened will no longer be accepted. In order to build a sustainable country and communities that withstand all kinds of natural disasters, including tsunami, our disaster management measures as a whole will be reviewed and strengthened. Our flight against the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is not at all over. The completion of Step 2 at the end of last year is no more than a milestone in the long process leading up to the decommissioning of the reactors. It is from now that we fully embark on the path toward Fukushima's rebirth and the restoration of its beautiful landscape.The rehabilitation of the living environment is an urgent task, for the evacuees to be able to return to their hometowns and live with a sense of reassurance. Efforts will be made to swiftly resume public services, including hospitals and schools. In order to protect children and pregnant women in particular from the effects of radiation, initiatives will be taken to thoroughly decontaminate living spaces, ensure the health management of all community members, and restore confidence in the safety of the food. Also, every effort will be made to achieve fair and smooth compensation payments from the perspective of the affected people. In addition, the intentions of relevant municipalities and community members will be fully grasped, and careful responses will be taken for the review of the restricted area and evacuation zones. I have visited Fukushima three times since " In order to build a sustainable country and communities that withstand all kinds of natural disasters, including tsunami, our disaster management measures as a whole will be reviewed and strengthened. "taking office as Prime Minister. The beautiful ridgeline of mountains and the sound of clear rivers and water that flows between the dense set of trees - wherever I go, I feel a sense of nostalgia. It is the beautiful landscape that every Japanese person thinks of when they think of a typical Japanese hometown.Without the rebirth of Fukushima, there can be no rebirth for Japan. Unless Fukushima is reborn, a vibrant Japan cannot be restored. I hope that my making repeated references to this will lead to all people sharing this notion. In order to translate this hope into concrete action, a special measures bill will be submitted for the Government and communities to promote the rebirth of Fukushima in unison.Every effort will also be made for the revival of Japan's economy, both for the earthquake-affected areas to make certain progress toward reconstruction as well as for Japan to overcome the long stalemate and pass on prosperity for the future. The revival of a large middle class also requires the entire Japanese economy to regain its energy by achieving both the competitiveness of companies, beginning with small- and medium-sized enterprises, and employment creation. The variety of impediments which have hindered companies' domestic investment and employment creation will be removed, and the foundation of industry and employment will be defended. At the same time, the seeds for growth will be planted for generating new added value, and an environment will be developed for fostering the buds of new industries.The FY2012 budget that includes a great many projects for the rebirth of Japan is the first step toward economic revival. I will strive to realize its early passage along with the fourth supplementary budget. Pictured: Yoshiko Noda026 G8 MEMBER COUNTRIES