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Remarks Following Discussions With Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone of Japan in Los Angeles, California

January 02, 1985

The President. I was very pleased to welcome Prime Minister Nakasone and Foreign Minister Abe to Los Angeles for an official working visit at the start of both this new year and, I'm pleased to say, the second terms in office for two of us.

This visit has reconfirmed and strengthened the vital relationship between the United States and Japan. When I visited Japan in November a year ago, I told Prime Minister Nakasone that there's no relationship that is more important to peace and prosperity in the world than that between the United States and Japan. The discussions that we've had today have convinced me once again of the truth of that statement.

The Prime Minister and I have discussed a number of key regional and international issues, with a special focus on our relations with the Soviet Union and the upcoming arms reduction talks in Geneva. I informed the Prime Minister of my intention to pursue effective arms reduction agreements with the Soviets seriously and zealously, while pointing out that we believe that some hard bargaining lies ahead.

I promised the Prime Minister that as we pursue these talks, we'll keep very much in mind the interests of our friends and allies in both Europe and Asia. I told Prime Minister Nakasone that if the Soviets are prepared to cooperate, then we will make progress. I'm grateful that the Prime Minister supported our approach to these negotiations.

We have reaffirmed the importance that our own defense efforts make to regional peace and stability, and we vowed to work together to strengthen our mutual security cooperation within the framework of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.

Our economic relations, particularly our trading relations, have been at the top of the agenda today, and we've discussed very candidly those areas where we have problems. We agreed to work strenuously in the months ahead to open our markets fully and to resist protectionist pressures in both countries.

I believe that we both agree that there is an urgent need to work together to resolve the problems in our trade relationship. We both recognize, I believe, that failure to overcome these obstacles in trade will complicate our ability to fulfill the vision of international partnership between Japan and the United States that we both share.

I have also reiterated our view that the capital markets measures that Japan announced last May should be fully and promptly implemented. I outlined my belief that implementation of the Agreement on Energy Cooperation should be accelerated. And I also indicated that we're pleased to welcome increased Japanese investment in the United States, which already is providing over 150,000 jobs to American workers.

In their effort to strengthen our overall relations, we have agreed to put Secretary Shultz and Foreign Minister Abe in charge of overseeing an intensified cooperative effort to make progress in our economic relations, including special, urgent efforts in key sectors.

Now, underlying today's meeting is a reaffirmation of the close and friendly ties between our two great peoples and our shared democratic values. Prime Minister Nakasone and I have pledged that we shall work to strengthen further our relations and cooperation as bilateral, Pacific, and international partners. And with this in mind, we've agreed that the recent report of the United States-Japan advisory commission is an excellent starting point for charting the future course of our relationship. Officials of our two governments will come together soon to review the report and its many excellent recommendations.

And finally, Mr. Prime Minister, it's been an immense personal pleasure to see you again. In five meetings, we have helped strengthen the powerful partnership for good between the United States and Japan of which I spoke before your distinguished Diet.

We value deeply our close friendship with Japan. As economic powers and as democratic nations, we're committed to the search for peace and prosperity for our own people and for all people. As leaders of two great nations, we have the mutual responsibility to work together in partnership to help people throughout the world secure the blessings of freedom and prosperity that we enjoy.

The Prime Minister. President Reagan and I have just completed a very fruitful discussion.

I believe that there are three distinctive elements in the current Japan-U.S. relationship. They are trust, responsibility, and friendship. At the beginning of the new year, the President and I have set a framework for our two countries to work together, based on these three elements, for promoting dynamic cooperation in quest of the peace and prosperity of the world.

The President and I exchanged views on the issue of peace and arms control. The negotiation on arms control will start next week in Geneva between Secretary Shultz and Foreign Minister Gromyko. I expressed my respect to the President's firm determination in pursuit of peace. I fully support his endeavor in launching this important negotiation.

The President and I reaffirmed the importance of maintaining close contact and unity among the industrial democracies on this issue. I earnestly hope that the historians of the future will mark 1985 as the year in which a great step forward was taken towards the consolidation of the world peace.

The President and I reconfirmed that the United States and Japan share heavy responsibilities for the sustained, noninflationary growth of the world economy and for the maintenance and development of the open and multilateral economic and trading system of the world. For this purpose, it is important to implement appropriate economic policies in our respective countries and to endeavor to maintain and expand the open market.

We also confirmed that Japan and the United States will cooperate even closer for launching the preparations for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations this year.

The President and I welcomed the advent of a new era characterized by the active cooperation in high technology, investment in capital exchanges, services, and other areas. We shared the determination of making serious efforts for a more balanced development of our trade and economic relations. To this end, Japan will promote economic policies that will enhance growth led by domestic private demand and will make further market-opening efforts.

To secure effectiveness of such mutual efforts, we will be engaged in an active joint followup effort and have designated Secretary Shultz and Foreign Minister Abe to oversee this cooperative process. Such work, needless to say, should be conducted with a view to strengthening our overall bilateral relationship.

The President and I shared the view that the report of the Japan-U.S. advisory commission was a valuable contribution and would merit a serious study by both sides. I expressed to the President that Japan intends to proceed further with its efforts at its own initiative to improve its self-defense capabilities, together with further strengthening the credibility of the Japan-U.S. security arrangements.

Mr. President, California has been a major gateway in the history of our trans-Pacific exchanges, and of course, California means a great deal for you, Mr. President. It was a great pleasure for me to meet with you here in California and to exchange views on our precious bilateral relationship in order to set the direction towards the 21st century. And there is no better place than California to talk about the importance of further promoting the dynamic development of the Asia and Pacific region.

Mr. President, it is indeed encouraging that I can continue to work with you as close partners in pursuit of our common objectives. Thank you very much for your kind hospitality.

Note: The President spoke at 1:48 p.m. in the Century Ballroom at the Century Plaza Hotel. The Prime Minister spoke in Japanese, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter. Earlier, the President and the Prime Minister met privately in the library of the President's suite at the Century Plaza Hotel. They then held a working luncheon with U.S. and Japanese officials, including Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Minister of Foreign Affairs Shintaro Abe. Following his remarks, the President returned to Washington, DC.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks Following Discussions With Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone of Japan in Los Angeles, California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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