Following is a provisional translation of the policy speech delivered by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to an extraordinary Diet session that opened Thursday for a 72-day session.

On the occasion of the opening of the 153rd session of the Diet, I would like to focus in my policy speech on the number of issues of urgency that currently face us and I would like to ask for the understanding and cooperation of all the people of Japan in tackling these issues.

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