Prime Minister NODA's BLOG

October 18, 2012, in Prime Minister Noda's message upon winning a special award for "'Ikumen'* of the Year 2012"

* "Ikumen" refers to fathers who actively participate in raising their children. The word is derived from the Japanese word "iku," to raise children, and the English word "men."

"I was quite surprised at having been selected for this award, which I never dreamed I would receive. These days, I feel that the activities of ikumen - fathers actively participating in the raising of their children - are the spirit of a new era that is truly promising and will change society. While it is unfortunate that I failed to be an ikumen myself, after listening to the stories of the struggles of young mothers and fathers, it has been my long-held wish to become a model "ikujii" - an elderly man actively involved in raising the younger generations - at some future time. Viewing this award to be a kind of shout of warmhearted support for the government's measures, I have renewed my wish to work hard to enhance still further our assistance measures for children and child-rearing."

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