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Remarks of the President and Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone of Japan Following Their Meetings

January 19, 1983

The President. Nancy and I have been very pleased to have as our guests Prime Minister Nakasone and his wife and daughter. These last 2 days have given us the opportunity to get to know the Prime Minister and his family and to establish the kind of warm personal relationship that is so vital to nations that are as close as the United States and Japan.

The Prime Minister's visit so soon after he assumed office underscores the significance that we both place on U.S.-Japanese relations and our role as leaders of the two industrialist giants of the free world. Our consultations were friendly and covered a wide agenda of very serious issues. And I'm pleased that we have made some imprint on the first steps in the area of trade, something of utmost significance to the economic well-being of both our peoples; to economic health of the Western World; and we're encouraged by the recent commitments to further open Japan's markets.

I'm aware of the political sensitivity in Japan to tariff reductions on a number of products, as well as to the Prime Minister's decision to conduct a comprehensive review of their standards and certification systems. Yet nothing would better prove to the American people the good intentions of our Japanese trading partners than tangible progress in revising relevant Japanese certification laws and regulations, to remove obstacles that have currently impaired some of our manufactured exports to Japan.

In the area of energy trade between our two nations, we've agreed to establish the United States-Japan Working Group on Energy, to actively explore how the abundant opportunities for energy cooperation can be transformed into realities for the benefit of both our countries.

During our wide-ranging consultations we discussed our intention for extensive and fruitful cooperation in space. I presented the Prime Minister with a plaque containing the flags of our two nations which were flown together on the first flight of the space shuttle Columbia. I'm pleased to announce today that I have offered Prime Minister Nakasone—and he has accepted-the opportunity for Japanese participation in our shuttle program, including an invitation for a Japanese specialist to be a part of the space lab mission in 1988. Both the Prime Minister and I look forward to continuing our efforts together in the peaceful use of the vast expanses of space.

And further, I'm encouraged after our meetings, and also by recent positive initiatives taken by the Prime Minister, the Japanese Government is now willing to do more to share in the burden of peace and stability. This is a responsibility that hangs heavy on the shoulders of all peace lovers, and the Prime Minister has assured me that Japan is committed to increasingly play their part in this crucial undertaking.

My meetings with Prime Minister Nakasone have been excellent both on a personal and a professional level, and I'm gratified at the rapport we've developed in this short time. And I'm confident it will be put to good use in the future. We've taken the first, significant steps toward resolving the urgent challenges which face our two countries. We can now move forward with our 1983 agenda, which seeks mutually acceptable answers to questions, especially in trade, that continue to weigh heavily on our relationship.

We stand as equal partners in the world, and I'm convinced no two nations are more mutually dependent than the United States and Japan. I know the Prime Minister shares this view. Our partnership is so essential, we have a strong obligation to our own peoples, to each other, to ensure its continued vitality.

And, again, we've enjoyed and appreciate this visit by the Prime Minister and look forward to welcoming him to our country again for the Williamsburg summit this spring.

The Prime Minister. Thank you very much, Mr. President.

As you may recall, Mr. President, you were the first foreign leader I greeted over the telephone when I assumed the post of Prime Minister of Japan.

Yesterday and today I had frank exchange of views with you. We discussed issues related to world peace and arms control and world economic situation and our bilateral issues. It is a great pleasure for me that our talks have been fruitful and we could reconfirm our mutual friendship and confidence. You are indeed a man of strong convictions, dedicated to peace.

Japan and the United States have the important relations of alliance, having broad economic and cultural ties of mutual reliance across the Pacific, and are dedicated to the cause of freedom and democracy. Solid cooperation between Japan and the United States is the cornerstone of peace in Asia, Pacific, and the world. We confirmed that both Japan and the United States intend to share responsibilities in the world appropriate to both countries. Frictions between our two countries can be solved by consultation between us. We are both strong democracies who can do so.

Finishing my friendly talks with President Reagan, I am going back to Japan with satisfaction and confidence. I should like to express my most sincere gratitude for the hospitality' extended to myself and my family by President and Mrs. Reagan, particularly for their kindness in inviting us for a breakfast meeting this morning.

I have extended my invitation to President and Mrs. Reagan to visit Japan, and my wife and I look forward to welcome you at a time convenient to both of us.

Finally, I thank the American people of all walks of life for their kindness during my stay.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 9:45 a.m. to reporters assembled at the South Portico of the White House. Earlier, the President and the Prime Minister and their wives had breakfast in the Residence.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks of the President and Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone of Japan Following Their Meetings Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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