"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Statement by Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Koji Kakizawa at the Fourth APEC Ministerial Conference

[Place] Bangkok
[Date] September 10, 1992
[Source] DIPLOMATIC BLUEBOOK 1992, Japan's Diplomatic Activities, pp. 422-425
[Full text]

Mr. Chairman,

It gives me great pleasure to attend this APEC Ministerial Meeting for a second time with Minister for International Trade and Industry Mr. Kozo Watanabe. I should first of all like to state my sincere appreciation to our host, the Thai Government and people, for their devoted efforts in holding this Conference. Furthermore, I should like to express my deep gratitude for the honor we were given yesterday of an audience with His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej, and the pleasure and privilege of attending the dinner hosted by His Excellency Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun.

Permit me also to convey the message to you entrusted to me by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Michio Watanabe that he wishes this Conference every success and eagerly looks forward to seeing you on the earliest possible occasion.

Mr. Chairman,

Amid the historic changes facing the international community following the end of the Cold War, mankind has within its grasp the chance to create a more peaceful and prosperous world. The countries of the Asia-Pacific region are adapting to these changes ably and with realism, and are opening their own path toward the future. Here in Southeast Asia, the process toward a durable peace and national reconstruction has begun in Cambodia. In June I had the privilege to chair the Ministerial Conference on the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Cambodia in Tokyo. Significant progress was made at this meeting. The Tokyo declarations on the peace process and rehabilitation and reconstruction were unanimously adopted, and assistance totaling US$880 million was pledged. That amount far exceeded expectations. We believe that all participants fully shared the recognition that there can be "no peace without reconstruction" and that there can be "no reconstruction without peace." In Cambodia, efforts on rehabilitation and reconstruction are entering their main phase. Against this backdrop, the present impasse in the peace process, caused by the lack of cooperation by the Party of Democratic Kampuchea, needs to be broken. Japan strongly hopes that all countries further strengthen their support for UNTAC, and that each of the Cambodian parties complies with the collective desire of the international community and discharges fully and expeditiously its obligations under the Paris Peace Agreement.

While respecting the diversity which lies among them, the countries of the Asia-Pacific region have increased their interdependence. We expect the region to continue to develop economically as the most attractive and free area in the world. APEC achieved the participation of China, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei last year, and has grown into a body of regional cooperation whose members collectively account for about half of the world's GNP. International expectations on APEC's further development are reflected in the Political Declaration of this year's Munich Summit of the G-7, which states that APEC has "an important part to play in promoting peace and stability" in the Asia-Pacific region, together with other regional frameworks such as the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conferences.

Since the previous Ministerial, APEC activities have expanded remarkably. Cooperation in such fields as human resources development and telecommunications, which is of major importance for the future of this region, has become much m ore active at the working groups. Meanwhile, the need for a new approach to the environment, based among others on the results of UNCED, is being called for in such fora as the working group on marine resource conservation and the ad hoc economic group meetings. At the APEC Education Ministers' Meeting held in Washington last month, useful discussion was held which initiated study on human resources development from a new angle. It is evident that APEC's activities will expand further.

This Ministerial Conference, which seeks to reach an agreement on establishing a secretariat and a budgetary system, is very important. We hope that the foundations necessary for future promotion and strengthening of APEC will be firmly established.

(Economic Outlook of the Asia-Pacific Region; Trends in the Japanese Economy)

Mr. Chairman,

As stated in the report by the ad hoc economic group meeting held last month in Tokyo, economic growth among the Asian NIEs and ASEAN countries remains strong, while the economies of North America and Oceania have begun to show steady recovery.

Taking a look at trends in Japan itself, the economy, which enjoyed strong growth since 1987, began to slow down at a gradual pace from the end of 1990, and since the second half of last year entered an adjustment phase. While there is recovery in housing construction, the Japanese economy is experiencing slow growth at present, particularly in final demand, indicated by the ebbing growth of individual consumption and low levels of plant and equipment investment. Other factors such as the plunge in the prices of stocks and real estate has made the situation serious. In order to counter this situation aptly and promptly, decisions were made on 28 August to implement a "Package of Economic Measures" whose main component is fiscal measures, already explained by MITT Minister Mr. Kozo Watanabe, exceeding a budget of ¥10 trillion (about US$87 billion), consisting of public investment and other measures.

It is to be expected that this Package would benefit greatly the sustained growth without inflation of our economy, pulled chiefly by domestic demand, and in turn contribute to stable growth of the world economy, which, as stated in the Economic Declaration of the Munich Summit, is showing increasing signs of recovery.

(The Uruguay Round)

Mr. Chairman,

It need not be repeated here that the early and successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round negotiations is the most urgent task concerning the economy of the Asia-Pacific region, considering that the economic dynamism of this region is founded upon the open multilateral trading system. As stated in the Economic Declaration of the Munich Summit, Japan, too, expects that an agreement can be reached at the Round before the end of this year. I should like to reiterate that Japan, while facing various difficulties, is resolved to make every effort toward an early conclusion of the negotiations through mutual understanding and cooperation among all the parties involved.

The recent agreement on the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) caught the world's attention. Japan respects the efforts made by the countries concerned to conclude the negotiations. Meanwhile, it believes in the need for NAFTA: (a) to be consistent with GATT provisions; (b) to take full consideration of the interests of third countries; and (c) not to lead to a regional bloc.

With regard to the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), we welcome ASEAN's initiative which led to its formation, and hope that AFTA will contribute to strengthening the open, multilateral trading system.


Mr. Chairman,

It is evident that, in addition to economic cooperation through APEC, and economic exchanges by the private sector, Official Development Assistance (ODA), which is mostly conducted on a bilateral basis, is important for the economic development of the Asia-Pacific region. As stated in the Japanese ODA Charter, Asia will continue to be a priority region for Japan's ODA.

The role of the economies of this region continues to expand as we approach the next century, which is sometimes called that of the Asia-Pacific region. In this regard, one of the new challenges facing us is assistance to the former Soviet republics which are striving to reform their internal and external policies in politics and economics. Many of these countries, which lie across the Eurasian continent, have strong historic and cultural ties with the Asia-Pacific region. Thus, Japan will host the Tokyo Conference on Assistance to the New Independent States on October 28-29th which will be chaired by Foreign Minister Michio Watanabe. The Government of Japan wishes to extend invitations to all the foreign ministers of APEC countries to take active part in this Conference.

I should like to conclude my statement by expressing Japan's strong desire to see APEC make steady progress toward the next century, directed by its basic ideal of "cooperation open to the world," and Japan's resolve to make every possible contribution toward this end.

Thank you.