"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 to the General Session of the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conferences

[Place] Manila
[Date] July 24, 1992
[Source] DIPLOMATIC BLUEBOOK 1992, Japan's Diplomatic Activities, pp. 414-421
[Full text]

Your Excellency Mr. Raul S. Manglapus, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines,

Distinguished delegates of the ASEAN countries and dialogue countries,

Ladies and gentlemen:

I should first of all like to congratulate our host, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines on the inauguration of the new administration under President Fidel Ramos, and its successful discharge immediately thereafter of the heavy responsibility of hosting these Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMCs) of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Japan attaches great importance to these conferences, and since 1978 has enjoyed the opportunity to send its Foreign Minister to attend the meetings with ASEAN each year. This year, however, much as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Michio Watanabe wishes to be here, unfortunately he could not, owing to reasons of health. I should like to convey Deputy Prime Minister Watanabe's message that he wishes the success of these conferences and eagerly looks forward to meeting you at the earliest possible occasion.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The ASEAN is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its formation this year. I extend my congratulations on behalf of the Japanese Government. ASEAN has responded adroitly and realistically to the changing international environment for the past quarter of a century. It has steadily promoted internal cooperation, and has achieved remarkable results in economic areas while also strengthening political ties. During this period, the ASEAN countries also continued external dialogue and promoted a broad cooperative relationship trough such forum as the Post-Ministerial Conferences. Japan pays its deep respect to the sense of mission and ceaseless efforts by ASEAN, which has shown to the world a model of regional cooperation.

In coincidence with its 25th anniversary, the international environment surrounding the ASEAN is changing dramatically. Amid these circumstances, the leaders of the ASEAN countries met in Singapore last January to discuss earnestly the future course ASEAN should take, and clearly determined its orientation in a number of areas. Japan deeply respects such political leadership exercised by each of the leaders. While wishing ASEAN further development, Japan will continue to offer its active cooperation to this end.

Ladies and gentlemen,

An important task for the ASEAN amid the changing international situation is to strengthen its relations with the countries of Indochina, and to integrate them into the dynamic development of the Asia-Pacific region. As an important element of its Southeast Asia policy, Japan has, from the past, worked to develop a relationship based on mutual understanding with the countries of Indochina, and thereby to contribute to building peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia as a whole. From this stance, Japan welcomes the accession by Vietnam and Laos to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia following the confirmation at the Fourth ASEAN Summit that ASEAN welcomes the accession by all countries in the region to the treaty. Japan hopes that the relationship of friendship and co-operation among the countries of ASEAN, all countries of Indochina including Cambodia, and Myanmar, would be strengthened, and this in turn would contribute to the stability and prosperity of Southeast Asia as a whole.

The most important and urgent task in Indochina is efforts for peace in Cambodia and its rehabilitation and reconstruction. I had the privilege to chair the Ministerial Conference on the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Cambodia held in Tokyo last month. Significant achievements were made at this meeting; the Tokyo declarations on the peace process and rehabilitation and reconstruction, were unanimously adopted; and pledges of assistance totaling $8.8 million were made. The latter far exceeded prior expectations. We thank all countries again for their forthcoming cooperation which made these results possible. We believe that all participants shared the recognition that there will be "no peace without reconstruction" and that there will be "no reconstruction without peace." Japan strongly wishes that each Cambodian party complies with collective desire of the international community to establish a durable peace, as was expressed in the Tokyo Declaration on the peace process. Yet we cannot help expressing serious concern at the present situation where the Party of Democratic Kampuchea (DK) continues its refusal to enter phase II of the cease-fire, and as a result, is creating an impasse in the peace process. It is urgent for DK to give serious consideration to the 11-point proposal prepared at the Tokyo Conference which takes into account, inter-alia, the DK's claims, and for it to cooperate actively with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) for the full and expeditious implementation of the Paris Peace Agreement on Cambodia. UNTAC will be a crucial test case for the U.N.'s peace-keeping ability in the post-Cold War period. Therefore, all countries must further strengthen their support to UNTAC; we must ensure that UNTAC can smoothly fulfill its functions, and maintain the cease-fire, demobilize the troops, and repatriate the refugees so that Cambodia can promptly embark upon its reconstruction under the new government to be established through the free and fair election due next year. Japan considers it important that substantive discussions were conducted on the peace in Cambodia at this past ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, and hopes that significant discussions will also be conducted at these Post-Ministerial Conferences. Japan intends to continue active efforts in order to facilitate the peace process and, to promote the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Cambodia, in close collaboration and consultation with all the countries concerned.

Japan would like to extend assistance for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Cambodia in tandem with the ASEAN countries. As then Prime Minister Kaifu stated during his visit to ASEAN countries in May last year, Japan and ASEAN enjoy a partnership in which both think and act together not only concerning their mutual relations but also for the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region at large. We are now studying whether we could implement a joint project to assist in the resettlement of refugees through "tripartite cooperation," which combines our financial and technological capacity with ASEAN's experience and knowledge and which takes full account of Cambodian needs. We expect that the materialization of such projects would introduce a new dimension to the forms of Japan-ASEAN cooperation.

With the enactment of the International Peace Cooperation Law we shall consider in the concrete assistance in personnel we would extend to UNTAC in response to a request from the United Nations. We would like to emphasize here that Japanese cooperation under this law will be made only in response to U.N. resolutions or requests from international organizations, and only to cooperate on efforts for international peace which center around the United Nations; we cannot and will not conduct such cooperation of our own accord. In making such contribution in personnel, we are determined to take into account the lessons of the past based on a full and accurate grasp of history, to firmly uphold our peace constitution, to never embark again on the road toward a military power, and we would like our friends in Asian countries to understand our resolve to continue to abide by these basic principles.

The serious problem of Indochinese refugees should not be forgotten when considering the situation in Indochina. Japan has been cooperating actively by such means as making the largest contribution to the budget concerning Indochinese refugees of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in order to alleviate the burden of the affected countries, and it will continue to respond in an appropriate manner to this issue.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The leaders of the ASEAN countries agreed at the Singapore Summit to intensify external dialogue on political and security matters by using the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conferences. The Japanese Government welcomes the decision, since it corresponds with the proposal made last year at these conferences by then Japanese Foreign Minister Nakayama concerning the "political dialogue designed to increase the sense of security felt by all parties." Japan has, from the past, considered that a subregional approach, carefully considered to suit the particular circumstances of each case, is required for the solution of unresolved problems in this region. At the same time, we consider that promoting in parallel region-wide political dialogue, which encompasses a broader spectrum of countries, is also important. This "two-track" approach was recently mentioned in a speech by Prime Minister Miyazawa in Washington. Existing fora should be used for region-wide political dialogue, given the fact that diverse frameworks of international cooperation already exist in this region in a multi-layered manner. We consider using the Post-Ministerial Conferences as the most suitable forum for this dialogue, and hope that substantial discussion on political matters will be conducted hereafter at these conferences.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The presence and involvement of the United States remains extremely important for the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region amid the changing international environment. The presence of American forces serves as a stabilizing factor of the region not only in military but also political terms. Japan strongly wishes that the United States continues in the future to maintain its forward deployment in this region. Therefore, it is Japan's policy to maintain steadfastly the Japan-U.S. security arrangements, and to make further efforts to ensure their smooth operation and enhance their credibility through various means such as host-nation support. Japan's host-nation support has reached $4 billion in fiscal 1992, and is projected to account for 70 percent of the non-salary cost of the United States forces in Japan by fiscal 1995. We welcome the cooperation also being made by ASEAN countries for the maintenance of forward deployment by the United States.

Apart from Cambodia, which I have already mentioned, there remain in this region disputes and conflicts in the Korean peninsula, the South China Sea and other areas. The reduction of tensions in the Korean peninsula is one of the most important tasks at present concerning the security of the Asia-Pacific region. Dialogue between North and South Korea form the main pillar of efforts toward this end, and we cannot hope more that these talks will pave the way toward reconciliation. At the same time, it is important for neighboring countries to cooperate in assisting in this dialogue.

Serious concern is being entertained on the possible development of nuclear weapons by North Korea, and this is serving as a destabilizing factor in this region. Although North Korea's acceptance of the inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signifies some progress, mutual inspections by North and South Korea have fallen into a deadlock over the method. The international society, Asia-Pacific countries above all, needs to work in unity in order to lead North Korea to dispel all concerns through the realization of these inspections. Japan is determined to strive toward this end by maintaining in its normalization talks with North Korea the position that there can be no normalization of relations with North Korea without a solution to this issue.

The South China Sea forms a crucial route between Northeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. Differences over territorial claims to islands in the area are becoming highlighted among the parties concerned. We are keenly observing the informal workshops which are being promoted under Indonesia's initiative and which aim to reduce tensions, and also the fact that a declaration was issued at this past ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, from the viewpoint that it is important for the parties to exercise self-restraint and seek a peaceful solution through discussion. We strongly hope that the continuation of such efforts would lead to the reduction of differences in this region.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Economic growth of the countries within is also an indispensable factor when contemplating the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. The ASEAN countries are moving toward strengthened regional cooperation by such means as the formation of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). Japan believes that the strengthening of economic relations within ASEAN could contribute to economic development not only of the region but also of the whole world. From this viewpoint, we welcome the leadership exercised by the ASEAN leaders at the Fourth ASEAN Summit. We hope that the ASEAN will continue to uphold GATT principles as stated in the Singapore Declaration, and also that AFTA will contribute to maintaining and strengthening the open, multilateral trading system.

It goes without saying that the maintenance and the strengthening of an open, multilateral trading system through an early and successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round negotiations is a key to further economic development of the Asia-Pacific region as well as the whole world, and is naturally a policy matter of great importance. Japan believes that an agreement on the Uruguay Round could be reached before the end of this year, as stated in the Economic Declaration of the Munich Summit. Although it is facing various difficulties, Japan is resolved to make its utmost efforts for the early conclusion of the Uruguay Round through mutual cooperation among all the parties, and hopes that other countries would also make further endeavors for progress in the negotiations.

In light of the importance of economic development in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan intends to continue its active efforts on Official Development Assistance (ODA) which centers on bilateral assistance, and multilateral economic cooperation centering on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), as well as to work on expanding relationships in trade and investment. Japan has consistently striven to expand the volume of its ODA. In addition, the Japanese cabinet has recently adopted the ODA Charter as a means to further the efficient implementation of ODA and public understanding on it at home and abroad. In the Charter, we have made clear that we shall provide ODA taking into account comprehensively the socio-eonomic{sic} conditions of the recipient and its bilateral relations with Japan, as well as by paying full attention to the following principles: (1) Environmental conservation and development should be pursued in tandem; (2) Any use of ODA for military purposes or for aggravation of international conflicts should be avoided; (3) Full attention should be paid to trends in recipient countries' military expenditures, etc., their development and production of mass destruction weapons and missiles, their export and import of arms, etc., so as to maintain and strengthen international peace and stability, and from the viewpoint that developing countries should place appropriate priorities in the allocation of their resources on their own economic and social development; (4) Full attention should be paid to efforts for promoting democratization and introduction of a market-oriented economy, and the situation regarding the securing of basic human rights and freedom in the recipient country. We seek full understanding by Asian countries on the above. In addition, the Charter states that Asia continues to be a priority region for Japan's ODA, and that it takes full account of such factors as the closeness of relations between Japan and Asian countries, and in particular, the importance of economic development among ASEAN countries for that of the whole world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Japan is ready to continue its work, in cooperation with all countries, on global issues such as environment and drugs. As for Japanese policies on the environment. Japan shall strive to drastically increase its volume of ODA, as it announced at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED), to around ¥900 million to ¥1 billion during the five years from fiscal 1992, with a view to improving the capability of developing countries to conserve the world's greenery, waters, and atmosphere, and to tackle environmental problems. In the process, Japan will strive to find, formulate and implement good projects through policy dialogue with recipient countries. Japan will also make efforts to put the Statement on Principles on the Conservation of Forests into practice. The drug problem is also a serious global problem which the international society should tackle in unity. The illicit production, transaction and use of drugs in Southeast Asia are becoming increasingly serious and we consider that efforts by all countries to resolve these problems need to be strengthened.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The democratization of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe is now the focus of international attention. Yet, important changes have also begun in Asia and the Pacific. Although these changes tend to be overlooked in the Euro-Atlantic Community, shaping a cooperative relationship befitting this region is very important for the peace and prosperity of the world. At the recent Munich Summit, considerable discussion on this region was conducted at the various meetings, and in the political declaration, the common recognition among the participants that "in the Asia-Pacific region, existing regional frameworks, such as the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conferences and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, have an important part to play in promoting peace and stability" was confirmed. We would like to engage in exceedingly closer contacts and consultations than before, in order to reflect the interests and concerns of Asia Pacific countries in the discussions at the next G-7 Summit, to be held in Tokyo.

I should like to close by stating my wish that substantial discussions at these Post-Ministerial Conferences would bring fruitful results.

Thank you very much.