From the Editor

Dear readers,

Embassy Press Officer David Marks

Though we still have some cool and rainy days, summer is not far away, a time of barbecues, trips to the beach, fireworks, yukatas, and the drama of the high school baseball tournament at Koshien.

In addition to all those great things that make summer in Japan special, this summer is a particularly significant one for Japan. As I'm sure you know, the government of Japan is the 2008 host of the Group of Eight (G8) meetings. This series of meetings, culminating in the July 7-9 G8 Leaders' Summit in Toyako, Hokkaido, began back in March in Chiba, with the Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy, and Sustainable Development. Meetings on development, labor, environment, energy, justice and home affairs, finance, and science and technology followed in various venues around Japan. The Foreign Ministers' meeting in Kyoto, the last of the ministerials before the Summit, was coming up as we finalized this issue of our publication.

When Henrietta H. Fore, Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and USAID Administrator, visited Tokyo April 4-7 to participate in the G8 Development Ministers' Meeting, she took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to "American View." I hope you enjoy our interview with Director Fore about how economic growth is at the heart of development, and ways in which the private sector is the most important new actor in the development world.

The U.S. foreign assistance which Ms. Fore directs comes in a variety of forms, not only cash or commodities but also technical expertise. The way it is provided also varies quite a bit, including public, quasi-public, and private sources and initiatives. Steven Radelet, a former deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury for Africa, the Middle East, and Asia and now a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, has written a good introduction to the spectrum of U.S. foreign assistance for the State Department's e-Journal series, which we hope will be of interest to our "American View" readers.

Whether the summer heat is bearing down on us or the winter wind is blowing, we all share concerns about energy security and environmental protection. Economic Officer Jim Crow, of our U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka, has contributed an excellent article detailing some of the interesting partnerships between Japanese and U.S. companies to develop new environmental technologies.

On behalf of "American View," I wish our readers a relaxing summer season, and I hope that you enjoy this issue.