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Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa of Japan

April 16, 1993


Q. Mr. President, we understand that Srebrenica is about to fall and some 60,000 Bosnian Muslims may be evacuated or surrender on your watch. That must be pretty painful.

The President. I regret that it's happening. We met and discussed this morning what our other options are and whether our allies might now be willing to take further action. We may know some more before the end of the day.

Q. Do you expect some military action to do something about this?

The President. We're looking at a number of options. I don't want to role in or out any, except that we've never considered the introduction of American ground forces as you know. But I hope that the gravity of the situation will develop a consensus among the United Nations partners. We'll see.

Japan- U.S. Trade

Q. Has the widening of the trade deficit with Japan—does that add importance to this meeting today, sir?

The President. Sure. Of course.

[At this point, one group of reporters left the room, and another group entered.]

Japan's Support for Aid to Russia

Q. Mr. President, would you mind explaining to us what you meant when you said to President Yeltsin, Japanese yes often means no?

The President. I don't know whether to say yes or no.

Prime Minister Miyazawa. Remember the song "Yes, We Have No Bananas"? The idea is, I think—

The President. Bananas. Yes. That's it.

Prime Minister Miyazawa. —every language has its own peculiarity.

Japan-U.S. Discussions

Q. President, are you talking about the exchange rate today with Mr. Miyazawa?

The President. We haven't had a chance to start our conversation. I think we'll talk about a lot of things today, many things.

Q. What kind of talks do you think are top priority at this meeting with Mr. Prime Minister Miyazawa?

Prime Minister Miyazawa. You'll know in 2 hours. [Laughter]

NOTE: The exchange began at 10:33 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa of Japan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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