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

November 10, 1983

The Prime Minister. For the people and Government of Japan, as well as for my wife and myself, it is indeed a great pleasure to welcome the President of the United States of America and Mrs. Reagan as state guests.

Yesterday and today, the President and I had very productive meetings covering a wide range of subjects. Through these meetings, we reconfirmed the importance for Japan and the United States, two countries sharing the common ideas and values of freedom and democracy of promoting further cooperation towards peace and prosperity of the world.

The President has a clear recognition of the importance of the Asian and the Pacific region. His present visit to Japan and the Republic of Korea and his planned visit to China next year amply testify this fact, together with his visit to the countries in Southeast Asia, which I am sure will be rescheduled in the future. The economic dynamism in the Asian and the Pacific region is one of the central elements in the expansion of the world economy. Thus, the President and I are in full agreement that we should continue to make efforts for the further development of the Asian and the Pacific region.

Mr. President, I issued on November 1st the Tokyo Statement jointly with Chancellor Kohl of the Federal Republic of Germany, in line with the spirit of the political statement adopted at the Williamsburg summit in May this year declaring that we should maintain the unity and solidarity among the Western countries in our joint endeavor in pursuit of freedom, peace, and stability of the prosperity of the world economy, and of the development in the Third World.

As I know the recent events of increasing tension in the East-West relations, as well as frequent occurrences of regional disputes and violence in various parts of the world, I am worried that the peace in the world could be gravely threatened if such trends continue and amplify themselves. Under such circumstances, I firmly believe that the countries of the world should renew their resolve for the maintenance of freedom, peace, and stability, for the revitalization of the world economy, and for the prosperity of the peoples of the world.

I further believe that the rational dialogs and negotiations should be conducted to solve such international conflicts and disputes, and that the parties concerned should spare no effort in taking step-by-step measures or gradual approach in pursuit of ultimate goals, and should carry on steady and realistic endeavors. This I consider is particularly pertinent to the arms control negotiations.

The Western countries should stand firmly in unity and solidarity for freedom and peace and should not hesitate to bear any hardships in upholding this cause. All these points are included in the Tokyo Statement. It is, indeed, truly significant, Mr. President, that you have fully endorsed this statement in our meeting.

The President and I had exchanges of views on East-West relations with emphasis on the question of arms control and on the situation in such areas as Asia, the Middle East, and Central America.

With regard to the INF negotiations in particular, it was reconfirmed that the negotiations should not be conducted at the sacrifice of the Asian region, but should be conducted on a global basis, taking the Asian security into consideration.

With respect to the recent bombing in Burma, the very act of terrorism, we agreed that it should be strongly condemned as an inexcusable conduct in challenge of world peace and order and that continued efforts must be made to bring about lasting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

On the Middle East, I expressed my deep appreciation for the role played by the multinational forces for stabilizing the situation in Lebanon.

The Japan-U.S. security arrangements are the foundation of the peace and security of Japan and the Far East. I wish to express that Japan will continue her efforts towards further strengthening the credibility of the Japan-U.S. security arrangements. With respect to the improvement of our defense capability, I wish to continue to make further efforts along the lines of the joint communique of May 1981.

As to the international economy, the President and I reconfirmed—in line with the declaration of the Williamsburg summit—the importance of obtaining sustained, noninflationary growth of the world economy, of rolling back protectionism, and of lowering the prevailing high interest rates. We consider them important, together with extending financial cooperation, in order to alleviate the plight of the developing countries, which are suffering from accumulated debts.

With regard to bilateral economic issues, we acknowledge the achievements made thus far and agree to continue our efforts for the solution of the remaining issues. In this context, I highly appreciated the pledge by the President to combat protectionism in the United States.

The President and I are in full agreement on the importance of the yen-dollar issue. We have agreed on establishing consultative fora on exchange rate issues and investment. In this connection, I asked for continued U.S. efforts to lower U.S. interest rates.

The President and I have also underscored the importance of greater two-way investment flows between our two countries, and I expressed my concern that the unitary method of taxation is becoming a serious impediment to the Japanese investment in the United States. I stressed the importance of promoting the preparations of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations in order to consolidate the free trading system and to inject renewed confidence in the world economy. I am very glad that the President has strongly supported my view. We intend to call on other countries to join in our efforts.

Mr. President, in the present international situation, you are shouldering enormous global responsibilities. I will, on my part, make as much contribution as possible to the peace and prosperity of the world. Thank you very much.

The President. Well, on behalf of the American people and our government, I would like to thank His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, Prime Minister Nakasone, and the Government and people of Japan for the generous and warm reception that you have extended to my wife, Nancy, myself, and my staff during our trip to your country.

Prime Minister Nakasone, as you've been told, have just completed 2 days of very productive discussions on a wide range of bilateral issues and global affairs. As leaders of two great Pacific nations, we're guardians of a strong, rich, and diverse relationship. Japan and America are bound by shared values of freedom, democracy, and peace. We're committed to greater future cooperation across a broad spectrum of political, economic, security, educational, culture, and scientific affairs.

I have come as a friend of Japan seeking to strengthen our partnership for peace, prosperity, and progress. I will leave Japan confident that our partnership is stronger than before and confident that we're giving birth to a new era in Japanese-American relations. We have agreed to move forward with an agenda for progress by drawing upon the great well of talent, drive, determination, and creativity of our free peoples. We welcome Japan's more assertive role as a fellow trustee of peace and progress in international economic and political affairs.

We have discussed global issues, and we hold many similar views on opportunities for cooperation. The principles that Prime Minister Nakasone has enunciated as the Tokyo Statement are principles that I fully endorse. Together we have no greater responsibility than to make our world a safer place.

There are serious threats to peace on the Korean peninsula, in the Middle East, in the Caribbean, and over the Northwestern Pacific. Also, the attitude on the part of our adversary at the negotiating table on arms talks is at odds with the will of the world to reduce the weapons of war and build a more stable peace.

I conveyed to the Prime Minister my satisfaction that our mutual security relationship is proceeding smoothly. Japan is host to 45,000 American troops, and our bases in Japan, made possible by the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, are essential not only to the defense of Japan but also contribute to peace and prosperity in the Far East. As for Japan's defense efforts, the United States remains convinced that the most important contribution Japan can make toward the peace and security in Asia is for Japan to provide for its own defense and share more of the burden of our mutual defense effort.

During our discussions on arms control, I assured Prime Minister Nakasone that we seek global reductions in the Soviet's intermediate-range SS-20's to the lowest level possible. The United States will take no action in the intermediate nuclear forces negotiations that adversely affects the security of Asia. We agreed on the urgency of achieving consensus on comprehensive international safeguards to prevent the spread of nuclear weaponry.

Prime Minister Nakasone and I discussed Japan and America's compelling international economic responsibilities as spelled out at the Williamsburg summit. Together we must press for continuing liberalization of the international trade and financial system, fight protectionism, promote economic development without inflation by encouraging the growth of free enterprise throughout the world, and share the obligation of assisting developing countries, including those facing severe debt problems. We also agreed to enhance coordination in foreign assistance.

Trade issues figure prominently in the Japan-U.S. relationship. There's no simple, overnight solution to our trade problems, but we have agreed to exert our best and continued efforts to solve these issues. We welcome recent actions by your government to reduce trade barriers, and I've emphasized the importance of further measures to open the Japanese market to trade and investment.

I didn't come to negotiate specific trade issues, but I did indicate certain issues of immediate importance to us. Because of both their trade and consumer significance, for example, we're seeking reductions in Japan's tariffs on certain products in which the U.S. is highly competitive. Japanese quotas on agricultural products are a cause for concern. In return, the United States must combat protectionism in our country, and I have given the Prime Minister my pledge to do so.

Progress in Japan-U.S. trade issues can foster greater trade liberalization efforts worldwide, such as the Prime Minister's call for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations, which I heartily endorse.

I expressed confidence that the United States can be a reliable long-term supplier of energy, particularly coal, to Japan. And I was pleased that Prime Minister Nakasone shared this view. Expanded energy trade will mean more jobs for Americans and greater security for both our countries.

With the approval of Prime Minister Nakasone and myself, a joint press statement is being released today by Finance Minister Takeshita and Treasury Secretary Reagan-Regan— [laughter] —I tried to get him to pronounce it the other way—on the yen-dollar issue and other financial and economic issues of mutual interest. We agree that the commitments and steps outlined in that statement will further strengthen economic relations between the United States and Japan.

We have noted the importance of the yen-dollar exchange rate, of free and open capital markets in each country. We stress the need for closer economic consultations between the two governments. A ministerial-level working group is being set up to monitor each side's progress in carrying out the agreed-upon actions to improve the yen-dollar exchange rate.

Our mutual commitment toward specific steps to achieve open capital markets will allow the yen to reflect more fully Japan's underlying political stability and economic strength as the second largest economy in the free world. In addition, we've agreed to instruct our economic sub-Cabinet members to form a committee to promote mutual investments.

Progress must come one step at a time, but Japan and America have begun taking those steps together. I've been heartened that beginning with our first meeting last January, continuing with the Williamsburg summit, and now again during our visit this week, Prime Minister Nakasone and I have agreed that our two great democracies share special responsibilities to each other and to the world. Let us continue to go forward, building on our progress step by step. We must set milestones to monitor the success of our agenda for progress and to assure the follow-through that is essential. And I will be discussing this matter in more detail with the Prime Minister tomorrow.

This visit has strengthened the bonds of friendship between our two great nations. We are now better prepared to work together as partners to build a more peaceful and prosperous future at home and throughout the world. 'We know what needs to be done; we know how it must be done. Let us have the faith to believe in each other, the courage to get on with the job, and the determination to see it through. Thank you very much.

Note: Prime Minister Nakasone spoke at 2:35 p.m. to reporters assembled in the auditorium of the Prime Minister's official residence. The Prime Minister spoke in Japanese, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Following the President's remarks, he and Mrs. Reagan returned to Akasaka Palace, where they stayed during their visit.

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

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