"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] Joint Press Conference at the Conclusion of the Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting

[Date] June 07, 2003
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Statement of the Summary
[Full text]

[Opening address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi]

First of all, His Excellency the President Roh Moo Hyun has made a courageous decision to visit Japan, while I am aware that there are some concern and criticism within the Republic of Korea (ROK) about his visit on this occasion. I am pleased that we were able to have a frank discussion and would also like to express my respect for his judgment and decision to seek to enhance the friendship between Japan and the ROK for the future.

This is the second summit meeting with President Roh, in which we were able to speak more candidly and openly in a very relaxed atmosphere compared to the talks we had on the occasion of the presidential inauguration ceremony in February. The Joint Statement which we just agreed aims at consolidation of a new era between Japan and the ROK, and I think that we were able to share the recognition that friendly relations between Japan and the ROK are important to world peace as well.

In regard to North Korea, I support the "Peace and Prosperity Policy" of the Government of the ROK. President Roh expressed his support for the policy of the Government of Japan to solve issues such as the nuclear issue, missile issue and abduction issue in a comprehensive manner based on the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration.

We also agreed that we should not allow North Korea's nuclear development program in any form, and that North Korea must promptly dismantle all of its nuclear development programs. President Roh and I are confident that we can reach a peaceful resolution to the North Korea nuclear issue.

Furthermore, we shared the view that the dialogue that has started among the United States, China and North Korea should continue and that it was essential for Japan and the ROK to participate in the dialogue in the future. I pointed out that both "dialogue" and "pressure" are necessary for a diplomatic and peaceful solution. I have a view that if North Korea further worsens the situation, the three countries, the ROK, the United States and Japan, must have a close consultation and take tougher measures. I expressed my intention to strictly control and regulate illegal activities of North Korea. I believe that holding of this Japan-ROK Summit meeting following by the ROK-United States Summit and the Japan-United States Summit meetings in May has made the trilateral partnership among Japan, the ROK and the United States even closer and stronger. With the direction and framework achieved in this series of summit meetings, I would like to devote more effort to realizing a peaceful resolution in cooperation with countries concerned such as China.

I took the opportunity of the visit by President Roh to discuss a Japan-ROK relationship suited to the new age. I have a strong sense of trust, closeness and friendliness in President Roh's candid and courageous personality. I am certain that his visit will definitely lead to future-oriented cooperative development for Japan and the ROK in various fields. I am determined to continue to promote sports and youth exchange between Japan and the ROK and am preparing for exchange events in various fields for "Japan-Korea Festa 2005" on the fortieth anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and the ROK. I would like to promote good exchange programs which may deepen mutual understanding and friendship and highly evaluate the decision by President Roh to expand the opening of Japanese popular culture in the ROK.

I also believe that the conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Japan and the ROK would enable Japan and the ROK to tighten their economic relationship and strengthen their competitiveness. We shared the view that both of us would make efforts to initiate negotiations on concluding an FTA as soon as possible. In order to further promote visits between the two countries, Japan and the ROK will take measures to work toward the operation of flights between Kimpo Airport and Haneda Airport at an early date. The Government of Japan has a policy to promote tourism exchange, and I would like to build a close cooperative relationship with the ROK in this regard. I will consider measures on visa exemption for Korean students visiting Japan as a school trip with the view to realizing a visa exemption for Korean nationals in the near future.

Through this summit meeting, Japan and the ROK further developed their friendly, cooperative relationship. I am confident that this friendship will continue to develop and am determined to devote my utmost effort toward realizing the Joint Statement in the purpose of making strong ties between the peoples of Japan and the ROK, while placing importance on a friendly, trusting personal relationship with President Roh.

[Opening Address by President Roh Moo Hyun]

I would first like to thank the Government and people of Japan for giving us such a warm welcome. Prime Minister Koizumi and I discussed the vision for building a future-oriented relationship between Japan and the ROK at this summit meeting. It is very significant that we have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation between our countries to bring about peace and prosperity in the Northeast Asian region beyond the bilateral level, and announce these agreements in the Joint Statement.

Prime Minister Koizumi and I, in the spirit of the ROK-Japan Joint Declaration of 1998, will squarely face the past history and strive together to create a future-looking, substantive cooperative relationship for the 21st century on that basis. Prime Minister Koizumi and I were engaged in a candid exchange of opinions over a broad range of areas of interest, and agreed on policies of cooperation.

I am highly satisfied with the results of the summit meeting. I see the most significant achievement in that Prime Minister Koizumi reaffirmed his positively supportive stance to the Peace and Prosperity Policy of the Government of the ROK and we reached an agreement that the ROK, Japan and the United States should continue to have a close coordination in order to bring about a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue of North Korea.

We reaffirmed the content of the Joint Statement of the ROK-United States Summit talks and the Press Conference of Japan-United States Summit talks held in the United States in May, and shared the opinion that a wide range of assistance to North Korea from the international community would be necessary and possible if issues such as the North Korea's nuclear issue are resolved.

In regard to the policy of cooperation between the ROK and Japan, I am also very pleased that we have agreed, in this summit meeting, on a range of cooperative measures to further promote the cooperative relationship between the ROK and Japan by taking advantage of the atmosphere of friendship created between the ROK and Japan with our successful co-hosting of the World Cup Tournament in 2002.

Prime Minister Koizumi and I agreed to a number of measures; the vitalization of sports and youth exchanges, the expansion of exchange between the leaders of the next generation in every sphere, the broader opening of Japanese popular culture, the early realization of a visa exemption for the ROK nationals entering Japan, the promotion of the early inauguration of operation of flights between Kimpo Airport and Haneda Airport, efforts to initiate negotiations on an FTA between Japan and the ROK as soon as possible, the vitalization of tourism exchanges between the countries, and the early conclusion of the Japan-ROK Social Security Agreement and the Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement.

In relation to the passage of national emergency legislation, Prime Minister Koizumi explained to me that the legislation had been discussed in the Diet for decades and was based on the right to national defense and that an overseas invasion by the Self-Defense Forces was out of the question. I expressed my gratitude for his earnest clarification of the matter, in return.

I indicated that although it was natural that all countries possess defensive forces, it was the undeniable reality that people in the surrounding countries of Asia were cautious. I said that we could settle this issue by having a future-oriented relationship between the ROK and Japan and bringing about peace and prosperity in the Northeast Asian region.

I also requested that the Government of Japan take a sincere approach to the issue of local suffrage for Koreans residing in Japan. I am confident that our cooperation will contribute significantly to the peace and prosperity of the Northeast Asian region, by steadily implementing, one by one, the various items of agreement, based on the faith and respect our countries have for each other.

I am confident that this summit meeting will provide a momentum to further develop a substantive cooperative relationship between the ROK and Japan. I am most delighted at the deep friendship and trust shown by Prime Minister Koizumi. As a leader we decided to have a close consultation and active cooperation as needed.

At the conclusion of the summit meeting, I think that the Joint Statement and the items of agreement announced here were indeed important, but even more important viewpoint is that both leaders were able to reap the benefits of frank and open dialogue without restraint. I would like to clarify here my view that the ROK places greater weight on dialogue, while both dialogue and pressure are important factor in regard to the issue of North Korea. However, it is important that we could gain confidence at this summit meeting that we are able to resolve any issues through a frank and close dialogue like this meeting, no matter what problems may arise in the future. Thank you.