George W. Bush photo

Remarks Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan and an Exchange With Reporters at Sea Island, Georgia

June 08, 2004

President Bush. It's my honor to welcome my friend and a strong leader, the Prime Minister of Japan, to Sea Island, Georgia. I've really been looking forward to this lunch because every time I meet with the Prime Minister, we have a constructive and important dialog.

The first thing, of course, I will do is congratulate him on the fact that the Japanese economy is improving under his leadership. We will talk about security issues. We'll talk about our mutual desire to fight terror. We will talk about North Korea. We will talk about Iraq, and in doing so, I know I'm talking with a leader I can trust and a leader who has got good, sound judgment.

Mr. Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Koizumi. First of all, I would like to express my condolences to the pass away of President Reagan. I would like to pay respect to his numerous achievements, especially in strengthening our Japan-U.S. bilateral relationship.

Today I was very much looking forward to meeting with President Bush in order to discuss Iraq, North Korea, and those issues from a viewpoint of Japan-U.S. alliance in the global context. As the international community has to cooperate in order to reconstruct Iraq, I would like to pay respect to his strong leadership of President Bush in meeting this international coordination.

And also on the North Korean issue, President Bush has strongly supported the Japanese policy, and we would like to—Japan and the U.S. would like to coordinate together, consult together in the issue of North Korea in order to come up with a peace in Korean Peninsula.

And even in the difficult and hard conditions, President Bush has shown his strong determination and commitment, and he is a man of determination. So with President Bush, we would like to maintain our Japan- U.S. cooperation in order to come up with peace and stability in the world. Thank you.

President Bush. A couple of questions. Tom [Tom Raum, Associated Press].

Proposed U.N. Security Council Resolution/Troop Levels in Iraq

Q. Mr. President, originally you had hoped that a U.N. resolution on Iraq would lead to more troops. Now you're on the verge of getting that U.N. resolution, and yet, we haven't heard much about more troops. In fact, France, Germany, Russia, and Canada have said they won't send troops under any circumstance. Have you pretty much given up on getting these allies to send troops, or is there still hope that you can persuade them?

President Bush. First, I'm delighted that we're about to get a Security Council resolution. There were some who said we'd never get one. And it looks like if things go well, it's going to be a unanimous vote, thereby saying to the world that members of the Security Council are interested in working together to make sure that Iraq is free and peaceful and democratic. I think this is a very important moment on the— on making sure that our objective is achieved.

These nations understand that a free Iraq will serve as a catalyst for change in the broader Middle East, which is an important part of winning the war on terror. I expect nations to contribute as they see fit. But of course, the key to long-term security in Iraq is for all of us to work together to train Iraqi troops to handle their own security measures. And that's precisely what we are doing on the ground and we will work with other nations to do as well.

President Ronald Reagan

Q. Mr. President, there are a lot of remembrances about Ronald Reagan this week. What lessons have you learned from the Presidency of Ronald Reagan? And have you modeled your political style after him at all?

President Bush. Ronald Reagan will go down in history as a great American President because he had a core set of principles from which he would not deviate. He understood that a leader is a person who sets clear goals and makes decisions based upon principles that are etched in his soul, and our Nation will miss him. I had the honor of speaking to Mrs. Reagan from Paris, France, and expressed Laura's and my condolences to her and her family, and the Nation will be doing so as well on Friday.

Thank you. Thank you all.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:31 p.m. at Dunbar House. Prime Minister Koizumi spoke in Japanese, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

George W. Bush, Remarks Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan and an Exchange With Reporters at Sea Island, Georgia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives