"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 Communique of Japanese Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki and U.S. President Reagan

[Place] Washington
[Date] May 8, 1981
[Source] A Documentary History of U.S.-Japanese Relations, 1945-1997, pp.1006-1009. Public Papers of the Presidents: Ronald Reagan, 1981, pp. 414-416.
[Full text]

At the invitation of the Government of the United States, the Prime Minister and Mrs. Suzuki paid an official visit to the United States from May 4 through 9. President Reagan and Prime Minister Suzuki met in Washington on May 7 and 8 for a comprehensive and fruitful review of the current international situation and U.S.-Japan relationship. They pledged that they would work closely together in pursuit of world peace and prosperity.

The President and the Prime Minister, recognizing that the alliance between the United States and Japan is built upon their shared values of democracy and liberty, reaffirmed their solidarity, friendship and mutual trust. The President and the Prime Minister viewed with concern the Soviet military build-up and the Soviet activities in the Third World as seen in its military intervention into Afghanistan and its behavior elsewhere. They reaffirmed their position that the Soviet intervention into Afghanistan cannot be condoned and that the immediate, unconditional and total withdrawal of the Soviet troops should be realized. They restated their view that the problems of Poland should be resolved by the Polish people themselves without any external interference and that any intervention in Poland would have a serious adverse effect on world peace. They shared the view that should intervention in Poland occur, the Western industrialized democracies should cooperate and implement their policies in concert.

Affirming their interest in the peace and stability of Asia, the President and the Prime Minister agreed :

- to continue respectively to expand cooperative relations with the People's Republic of China,

- to promote the maintenance of peace on the Korean Peninsula as important for peace and security in East Asia, including Japan,

- to continue their cooperation in support of the solidarity of ASEAN and its quest for the greater resilience and development of its members.

The President and the Prime Minister placed high value on the respective role each country is playing in this regard as exemplified recently by the President's decision to maintain U.S. ground forces in Korea and by the Prime Minister's visit to ASEAN countries this January. They agreed that an early and comprehensive political settlement of the Kampuchean problem, including the withdrawal of foreign forces, through an international conference based on the resolutions of the General Assembly of the United Nations is important for the restoration of a durable peace in Indochina. The President and the Prime Minister affirmed that the maintenance of peace and security in the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf region, is highly important for the peace and security of the entire world. They agreed that the determined efforts of the United States in the face of fragile security conditions in the region contribute to restoring stability, and that many countries, including Japan, are benefiting from them. They also agreed that the process of achieving a comprehensive peace in the Middle East should be further promoted to strengthen the security of the area.

In the process of reviewing the international situation, the President and the Prime Minister took note of the presence of various elements of instability in other areas of the world and particularly with respect to some parts of Africa and Central America, they expressed their concern about the existence of conditions affecting peace and stability.

The President and the Prime Minister recognized the role that international efforts foward genuine arms control and disarmament should play in advancing world peace and stability, encouraging restraint and responsibility in international affairs, and promoting the security of the West as a whole.

The Prime Minister stated his view that it is important for the industrialized democracies to have a shared recognition of the various political, military and economic problems of the world and to cope with them in a consistent manner in order comprehensively to provide for the security of the West as a whole.

In meeting these international challenges to their peace and security, the President and the Prime Minister recognized that all Western industrialized democracies need to make greater efforts in the areas of defense, world economic improvement, economic cooperation with the Third World, and mutually supportive diplomatic initiatives.

The President and the Prime Minister reaffirmed their belief that the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security is the foundation of peace and stability in the Far East and the defense of Japan. In insuring peace and stability in the region and the defense of Japan, they acknowledged the desirability of an appropriate division of roles between Japan and the United States. The Prime Minister stated that Japan, on its own initiative and in accordance with its Constitution and basic defense policy, will seek to make even greater efforts for improving its defense capabilities in Japanese territories and in its surrounding sea and air space, and for further alleviating the financial burden of U.S. forces in Japan. The President expressed his understanding of the statement by the Prime Minister. They recognized their common interest in contributing to the defense of Japan, and expressed the hope for even more fruitful dialogue between the two countries on security matters. In this regard, they looked forward to the scheduled meetings in June on security matter by representatives of the two Governments both at the ministerial and working levels.

The President and the Prime Minister agreed upon the importance of the relationship between the industrialized countries and the developing countries. They expressed their hope that constructive progress will be made in dealing with the countries of the south through various means, in particular through the discussion scheduled for Ottawa and Mexico.

They affirmed that political, economic and social stability of developing countries is indispensable for the maintenance of peace and stability of the world. The Prime Minister stated that the Government of Japan will strive to expand and improve its official development assistance under the New Medium Term Target and that the Government will strengthen its aid to those areas which are important to the maintenance of peace and stability of the world.

They also stated that they will continue to assist the victims of international instability through their aid to Indochinese, Afghan and African refugees.

The President and the Prime Minister discussed various problems facing the world economy. In this connection, they expressed their concern about the rising pressure toward protectionism in many countries and affirmed that the United States and Japan are determined to continue their efforts to maintain and strengthen free and open trade principles embodied in the GATT framework. In this regard, the President expressed his appreciation for the voluntary action taken by the Government of Japan to restrain the export of automobiles to the United States at a time when the United States automobile industry is passing through a difficult adjustment period.

The President and the Prime Minister highly valued the role the Summit Meeting of the Seven Industrialized Nations plays in securing the stability and development of the world economy.

The President and the Prime Minister expressed their satisfaction with the close bilateral economic relationship and noted the prospects for a further expansion of these ties. They shared the view that economic issues between the two countries have been and should continue to be given early and mutually satisfactory solutions in the spirit of goodwill and cooperation.

The President and the Prime Minister highly valued the report of the Japan-United States Economic Relations Group which contains recommendations that will contribute to the long term development of the United States-Japan economic relations. They agreed that the two governments should address the various recommendations for possible implementation. They also expressed the hope that the recommendations would be studied in such fora as the U.S.-Japan Businessmen's Conference.

They reconfirmed the importance of the dialogue between the two countries through various fora including the United States-Japan sub-cabinet group.

The President and the Prime Minister, noting that the energy problem continues to be critical to the healthy development of the world economy, reaffirmed the need for the two countries to make further efforts, together with other industrialized countries, in such fields as increase of energy production, promotion of development and use of alternative energy sources, and conservation of energy.

The President and the Prime Minister, in recognition of vital importance of preventing nuclear weapons proliferation, reaffirmed the need to continue to promote international efforts to this end. They shared the view, on the other hand, that the role of nuclear energy ought to be further expanded under appropriate safeguards to meet the increasing energy needs of the world and that the United States and Japan have special responsibility to cooperate further in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In this connection, the President endorsed the view of the Prime Minister that reprocessing is of particular irnportance to Japan. The President and the Prime Minister thus agreed that the two governments should promptly start consultations with a view to working out a permanent solution at an early date on such pending issues as the continued operation of the Tokai Reprocessing Facility and the construction of an additional reprocessing plant in Japan.

Underscoring their belief that cultural exchange is an important element in fostering mutual understanding and friendship, the President welcomed the announcement of the Prime Minister that the Government of Japan has made a financial contribution to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and that it has announced its intention to give substantial financial assistance respectively to the Japan Society of New York and, in a continuing manner, to the Special Japan-U.S. Exchange Program of "Youth for Understanding" which is to commence next fiscal year.

Finally, the Prime Minister expressed his sincere appreciation to the President for the warm reception he has received during his visit to the United States. The Prime Minister extended an invitation to the President to visit Japan. The President thanked the Prime Minister for his gracious invitation, and said that he hoped to visit Japan at a mutually convenient time.