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Tokyo, Japan Informal Exchange With Reporters.

June 26, 1979

Q. While we are waiting, can you tell us anything about how the talks are going?

THE PRESIDENT. They couldn't be better. Most of our serious difficulties were discussed and basically resolved back in May, when Prime Minister Ohira came to the United States, and then when Ambassador Strauss came here. So, we have been planning for the summit, talking about energy, refugees, and discussing international matters that are of mutual interest to us.

Q. Mr. President, do you feel you have made any progress on the refugee issue?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I think so. What we want to do, obviously, is to get the entire world to participate in the acceptance of the refugees and the financing of the very expensive programs, and also to get the world to induce the Vietnamese to change their policy, to cut down on the large numbers who are having to leave Vietnam. But the more nations who become interested and who join in the effort makes it possible to solve both these problems—to stop the problem at the source, and also to accommodate those who have already left.

Q. Mr. President, did Prime Minister Ohira give any indication what Japan can do?

THE PRESIDENT. I think it is better to let him speak for Japan.

Q. Did you have any discussions on U.S.-Soviet relations?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. I gave the Japanese leaders a report on the Vienna conference, on the elements of SALT II, some of the prospects for the future. This was part of the discussion today.

Q. Did they indicate to you any concern over U.S. presence in North Asia or in Asian countries?

THE PRESIDENT. Not concern. I think our intentions and their desires are compatible.

Q. They are not concerned about our maintaining our presence here?

THE PRESIDENT. AS I say, I think our intentions and desires are compatible.

Q. Mr. President, is there anything more that the United States can do about the refugees?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, of all the refugees who leave Southeast Asia now, we are taking about 70 percent of them. We have already committed to take 7,000 per year. We have already accepted—I mean, a month. And we have already taken about 200,000. What we want now is to increase what we are doing, but to get many other nations to join in with us.

Q. Do you think you will discuss this at the summit meeting?


Q. Do you think there will be some specific proposal to come out of the summit meeting?


Q. Can you give us any indication what that might be?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I can't speak for anybody except ourselves.

Q. But you will have specific proposals to put forward at the summit?


Q. Mr. President, will you make any direct approach to Hanoi on this?

THE PRESIDENT. That is a continuing effort.

Note: The exchange began at approximately 1:30 p.m. outside the U.S. Ambassador's residence. As printed above, the item follows the press release.

Following his remarks, the President went inside to meet with former Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda.

Earlier in the day, the President and Prime Minister Ohira and members of their delegations met at Yoshida Villa in the town of Oiso.

Jimmy Carter, Tokyo, Japan Informal Exchange With Reporters. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249199

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