"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] The President's News Conference with Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa of Japan

[Place] White House
[Date] April 16, 1993
[Source] Nichibei kankei shiryo-shu 1945-97, pp.1242-1245. Public Papers of the Presidents: William J. Clinton, 1993, I, pp.438-441.
[Full text]

The President's News Conference with Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa of Japan

April 16, 1993

President Clinton: Good afternoon. I'm delighted to welcome Prime Minister Miyazawa to Washington and the White House. I especially appreciate his making this very long journey so soon after he hosted the foreign and finance ministers of the G-7 in Tokyo in discussing aid to Russia.

There is no more important relationship for the United States than our alliance with Japan. We are the world's largest economies with 40 percent of the world's GNP between us. Our security ties have fostered a generation of peace in the Asia-Pacific region, and remain critical to the region's continued stability and prosperity.

As we survey the key security challenges of this decade - supporting reform in Russia, advancing the Middle East peace process, efforts toward reconciliation and peacekeeping from Somalia to Cambodia - it is clear that there must be sustained cooperation between the United States and Japan. To help us meet these challenges, I have stressed with the prime minister the need for some change in our relations. The Cold War partnership between our two countries is outdated. We need a new partnership based on a longer-term vision, and above all, based on mutual respect and responsibility.

There have always been three elements to our relationship with Japan - our economic dealings, our security alliance, and our cooperative efforts on global problems. Each is essential to our relationship, and each must serve our mutual self-interests.

But during the Cold War, security relations often overshadowed other considerations, especially economic concerns. In today's world, as I have often said, the United States cannot be strong abroad unless it is strong at home. And our strength at home depends increasingly on open and equitablc{sic} engagement with our major trading partners. That requires that we now pay special attention to the economic side of our relationship. Our security partnership is strong. That relatinonship{sic} has been an anchor for Pacific stability for two generations. It remains fundamental to both our interests. The United States intends to remain fully engaged in Asia and committed to our strategic alliance and our political partnership with Japan.

The prime minister and I discussed a range of security matters in the Pacific region that concern both of us, including efforts to gain the fullest possible accounting of our POWs and MIAs in Vietnam and North Korea's refusal to comply with the international nuclear inspections and standards, which causes us serious concern. Because of the importance of our security relationship, we will maintain close working ties between our two defenses, and I'm pleased that the Prime Minister will be meeting later today with Defense Secretary Les Aspin.

We also reviewed many global issues that challenge both our nations. In particular, we talked about the extraordinary meeting of G-7 foreign and finance ministers just completed in Tokyo to provide mutual support for Russian economic and democratic reforms. I appreciate the Prime Minister's leadership in convening that meeting. We agreed that the success of these reforms is critical to world peace and prosperity. I believe both our nations understand the stakes and stand ready to work in partnership with President Yeltsin and Russia's other reformers. We look forward to the G-7 summit this July in Tokyo and to Russian participation in the G-7-plus meeting.

But economics were at the heart of our discussions. I stressed that the rebalancing of our relationship in this new era requires an elevated attention to our economic relations that must begin with an honest appraisal of each country and our mutual responsibilities. The fact is that I have enormous admiration for Japan's economic performance. The Japanese have been pioneers in high-quality manufacturing. Their record of innovation and prosperity has been built on hard work and social cooperation.

But we and many other countries have other concerns as well. I stressed to the Prime Minister that I am particularly concerned about Japan's growing global current account and trade surpluses and deeply concerned about the inadequate market access for American firms, products, and investors in Japan. I recognize that these are complex issues, but the simple fact is that it is harder to sell in Japan's market than in ours. America is accepting the challenge of change and so, too, must Japan.

For our part, the United States is making economic renewal over the long term our highest priority. And we are now making the hard decisions many of our trading partners have urged us for years to make required to put our economic house in order. Our good friends like Japan for some time have urged us to do this, and we are attempting to do it, by bringing down our deficit through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases and committing ourselves to long-term investment.

It is important that Japan lead the way to global economic growth. The Prime Minister's newly announced stimulus program is a very good first step towards stronger domestic gowth{sic} in Japan, but as in America, it must be part of a continued and sustained effort. Japan's goal must be to become one of the engines of growth that creates jobs not only Japan, but throughout the world.

In addition, the Prime Minister and I reaffirmed our commitment to lead the Uruguay Round to an early and successful conclusion. We are committed to making the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization a vehicle for trade liberalization in the region. I look forward to the United States hosting that organization in Seattle later this year.

Robust economic growth in America and Japan is in everyone's interest. That's why I hope our own Congress will pass our jobs package and the budget, just as I hope Japan will continue taking steps too boost its own economic growth.

But macroeconomic action alone is not enough. I'm concerned not only about how much we sell, but about what we sell. Our companies that manufacture high-quality, high-wage goods are among the most competitive in the world. If their products are to be a greater part of our exports to Japan, if our workers are to receive their fair share of the benefits of trade, Japan's markets must be more open. United States companies bear the responsibility for providing high-quality and competitively priced goods, but when they do, as increasingly they do today, Japan's markets must receive them.

When our two nations take these economic steps individually and together, we will be the two strongest drivers of global economic growth. That growth is essential not only for our own prosperity, but also for the success of the world's many new and emerging democracies.

In order to take these steps, we also need to develop a new framework for our two nations to address concretely our economic agenda, the structural and sectoral issues that can expand growth and increase trade and investment flows in key industries. This framework should also enable us to discuss other issues in which we can cooperate, such as technology and the environment. Within the next three months, the Prime Minister and I expect to have a plan for specific negotiations that can then occur on an expedited basis in these areas.

The Prime Minister and I also agreed to meet twice annually, including during the G-7 annual summit. We have agreed to do this because we believe this new partnership deserves our highest priority from the highest levels of our governments. I view today's discussion with the Prime Minister as a very positive step in our effort to begin a new and mutually beneficial stage in the long and productive friendship between the United States and Japan.

Each spring, all who reside here in the nation's capital have a wonderful reminder of that friendship. Just blocks from here at the Tidal Basin, the circle of flowering cherry trees begun as a gift from the people of Japan are the uplifting image that defines the start of our season of hope.

Today, I believe the new partnership we are forging between our nations can help to usher in a season of hope not only for ourselves, but for the world as well, a season when we restore economic growth, when we expand economic opportunities in our own countries and elsewhere, when we help to fuel the worldwide movement toward democracy, and when we help to lay the foundation for peace and progress in the next century. I look forward to working with Prime Minister Miyazawa in the coming months as we join together to build that new partnership.

Prime Minister Miyazawa: Mr. President, Thank you for your kind words and thank you also for your very warm welcome today.

I have been looking forward to this important meeting. May I say that I have a sense of accomplishment in that we have built a personal relationship of mutual trust. I am convinced that our new partnership can respond to the needs of a new era.

Our partnership is crucial for making the world more peaceful and prosperous. The President and I have therefore agreed to meet at least once every year separate from the G-7 process.

Let me comment briefly on four areas of our discussions today.

First, we affirmed the continuing importance of Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in the post-Cold War era.

Second, on the economy. I welcome the President's leadership in tackling the budget deficit problem head-on. On our part, Japan's new '93 fiscal budget is geared to stimulating domestic demand. And three days ago, my government decided on an additional package of expansionary measures totalling 116 billion dollars to further stimulate our domestic demand. This will certainly accelerate our economic growth.

I also stressed our continuing efforts to increase market access. I further explained to the President that my government has decided to undertake a new "Funds for Development" initiative to facilitate financial flow from Japan to developing countries.

These respective efforts by both Japan and the United States are critically important for ensuring world economic growth. They are also vital for strengthening the foundation of our partnership.

In the area of our bilateral trade and economic relations, I stressed to the President that our economic prosperity is founded on our deep economic interdependence. We must nurture this relationship with a cooperative spirit based upon the principle of free trade. This cannot be realized with managed trade nor under the threat of unilateralism. Our relationship must be a plus-sum relationship, not a zero-sum one. It is in this context that I expressed seriously, concern over some trends in the United States. I explained my government's policy to continue efforts to increase our market access. But this must be done with parallel efforts of the United States to strengthen competitiveness and export promotion under the free trade system.

On the Uruguay Round negotiations, we cannot allow them to fail. And after seven years, we must reach a realistic agreement through further negotiations.

Recognizing the importance of advancing our new economic partnership, we need to develop a new framework for our two nations to address the structural and sectoral issues of both countries that can promote trade and investment flows in key industries, as well as enhance our cooperation in such areas as environment, technology and development of human resources. Within the next three months the President and I expect to create such a new framework.

Third, on Russia. Japan chaired the meeting of Foreign and Finance Ministers of G7 countries, subsequently joined by the Russian Ministers, which ended yesterday in Tokyo. I cooperated closely with President Clinton on the preparations for this meeting, talking over the phone a few times.

I believe the Joint Ministerial Meeting sent a strong message of support for Russia's efforts for democratic and economic reform and its "law and justice" foreign policy. At the opening session of that meeting, I announced a 1 billion, 820 million dollars package or Japan's bilateral assistance to Russia. Today President and I discussed how we should follow up and build on the results of that meeting, as Russia undergoes a delicate period of transition.

Fourth, the dynamic growth of the Asia-Pacific region promises benefits for the entire world. But we must bear in mind that the region is undergoing changes with risks and instabilities. American presence and Japan-U.S. Security Treaty are indispensable stabilizing elements for the region. I assured the President that Japan would continue to provide Host Nation Support which amounts to 4 billion, 600 million dollars in the year 1993. Japan will also work together with the United States to build more cohesiveness and a feeling of reassurance through regional dislogue{sic} and cooperation.

Finally, let me make a personal observation. For half a century, I have been involved in our bilateral relations in one way or another. Now talking to the youthful, new leader of this great nation who has emerged at an historic time of changes in the world, I felt optimism for the unbounded possibilities of our two nations working together, in our new partnership, to bring a better world for all of us.

Thank you very much.