Japan-United States Summit Meeting
June 9, 2004
On June 8, 2004, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi attended a bilateral working lunch hosted by President George W. Bush of the United States of America during the former's visit to Sea Island, Georgia to attend the G8 Sea Island Summit. The following is a summary of the meeting.
1. Opening Remarks
(1) At the start of the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, a photo opportunity for the press was set up. During this time, President Bush made the following remarks.
It's my honor to welcome Prime Minister Koizumi to Sea Island, Georgia. Every time I meet with the Prime minister, we have a constructive and important dialogue. I congratulate him on the fact that the Japanese economy is improving. 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. I know I'm talking with a leader I can trust and a leader who has got good, sound judgment.
(2) In response, Prime Minister Koizumi made the following remarks.
I would like to express my heartfelt condolences at the passing of President Reagan. I would like to pay strong respect to his achievement in strengthening the Japan-U.S. bilateral relationship.
Today, I look forward to meeting with President Bush to discuss Iraq, North Korea, and other issues from the viewpoint of "Japan-U.S. alliance in the global context". I would like to pay respect to President Bush who created a framework for international coordination on the issue of Iraq.
On the North Korea issue, I thank President Bush for strongly supporting Japan's position and would like to continue to stay in close touch.
I express my respect to President Bush for consistently showing strong determination and efforts, even under difficult situations. We would like to continue to cooperate between two countries, in order to come up with peace and stability in the world.
2. Summit Meeting
(a) President Bush expressed his appreciation for the contribution being made by Japan in Iraq. He stated that he expected that a United Nations resolution on Iraq would be adopted unanimously within the next few hours, and that he regarded this to be an extremely good Security Council resolution. He stated that from now on, the people of Iraq would realize democracy in their country through their own efforts, which he hoped would be supported by the G8. President Bush reiterated his appreciation for Japan's cooperation and generous assistance.
(b) In response, Prime Minister Koizumi welcomed the fact that a Security Council resolution was about to be adopted, stating his belief that this wasn't a compromise by the US, but, a victory of its cause. Pointing to the fact that he had repeatedly referred to the essential nature of the Iraqi people's strong resolve to rebuild their country themselves, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that Japan was ready to extend maximum assistance to such efforts by the Iraqi people.
(c) Prime Minister Koizumi also stated that Japan intended to continue the dispatch of its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) based on the Special Measures Law for Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance in Iraq, in a manner that would be welcomed by the Iraqi Interim Government. He stated Japan's intention to continue its efforts to reconstruct Iraq, utilizing the aforementioned dispatch and financial cooperation through Official Development Assistance (ODA) as the "two wheels on the axle of a cart". In response, President Bush stated that he highly valued Japan's contribution.
(d) Prime Minister Koizumi further stated that Japan had fought a war with the US in the past but had rebuilt itself based on relations of trust with the US after the war. He noted that the same could be said for some other countries, and that Iraq in his view, is one of them. In response, President Bush stated that he would always refer to Prime Minister Koizumi to make the point that the relations with Japan are now at a point where the two countries engage in discussions on how to construct peace. President Bush expressed his wish to continue such discussions.
(2) North Korea
(a) Prime Minister Koizumi stated that the Japanese position on North Korea remained unchanged; that Japan would continue close coordination with the US, would maintain coordination with the US and the Republic of Korea (ROK) through the Six-Party Talks and also further encourage China, toward the complete dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear programs, and that a comprehensive resolution of the abduction, nuclear and missile issues, remained to be the precondition for the normalization of relations between Japan and North Korea.
(b) Prime Minister Koizumi explained his recent visit to North Korea and stated that he had impressed upon Chairman Kim Jong-Il of the National Defense Commission the merits of complete dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear programs accompanied by international verification, to which Chairman Kim had stated that denuclearization was the ultimate goal, but had emphasized concerns about US policy. Prime Minister Koizumi also pointed out that North Korea was eager to engage in discussions with the US by utilizing the Six-Party Talks. Prime Minister Koizumi also explained that Chairman Kim had stated that the "freezing" proposal would be accompanied by verification.
(c) In response, President Bush appreciated the fact that Prime Minister Koizumi conveyed a clear position to Chairman Kim with regard to the nuclear issue on the occasion of his visit to North Korea. President Bush stated that the US also considered the Six-Party Talks to be an appropriate framework, and that the US intended to make efforts towards a peaceful resolution, based on Japan-US-ROK coordination, while also placing importance on the role to be played by China.
(d) With regard to the abduction issue, Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his appreciation for the US support to date, and explained the situation concerning Ms. Hitomi Soga. In response, President Bush reiterated his strong support for Prime Minister Koizumi's efforts on the abduction issue, and explained the situation concerning Mr. Charles Robert Jenkins. Both leaders agreed to continue to maintain contact on this issue.
(3) Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
With regard to the issue of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), which was raised by President Bush, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that he understood that discussions among experts were making progress.
In response to a question from President Bush asking Prime Minister Koizumi's view concerning Iran, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that Japan had been continuing its efforts to strongly persuade Iran concerning its nuclear development issue, and that Iran's full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was continued to be needed. President Bush stated that the US was strongly concerned about Iran, and that be appreciated Japan's continued efforts to persuade Iran.
(5) United Nations Reform
Prime Minister Koizumi stated that as was the case in Iraq, authority was derived from the United Nations, and for this reason also, reform of the United Nations was necessary. Prime Minister Koizumi also pointed out that after the US, Japan was the second largest contributor of funds to the United Nations and has implemented a large amount of financial assistance with respect to Iraq as well. In response, President Bush stated that Japan should have a permanent seat in the Security Council, and that he understood well the position just outlined by Prime Minister Koizumi, and would continue to support it.
(6) Japan-US Security Arrangements
With regard to the Japan-US Security Arrangements Prime Minister Koizumi stated that, the perspectives of reducing the burden on Okinawa and maintenance of deterrence were important, and that he wished to have the issue of US Force pastime review to be discussed in detail at the working-level. In response, President Bush stated that concerning the review of the US Forces structure in the ROK, as Prime Minister Koizumi was well aware of, the capability of US Forces had increased, and even if troop numbers were to be reduced, deterrence would not decrease. President Bush expressed his desire to maintain close contact and emphasized the continued strong commitment of the US in this region.
(7) G8 Summit
(a) Prime Minister Koizumi stated that the Sea Island Summit was being held at a most important juncture. Pointing out that Prime Minister Koizumi stated that the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq would be occurring in the near future, it would therefore be necessary for this summit to impress upon the word that the G8 will jointly support the efforts by the Iraqis to rebuild their own country.
(b) In response, President Bush expressed his appreciation for Prime Minister Koizumi's views. President Bush also appreciated Japan's support of the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative, and expressed his view that it was extremely important to promoting reforms in order to make progress in the fight against terrorism.
(8) International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
Prime Minister Koizumi expressed appreciation to President Bush for US support for locating the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Rokkashomura in Japan, to which President Bush responded that there was no change in the US position of supporting Japan in this regard.
(9) Japanese economy
President Bush expressed his delight at the current state of the Japanese economy. In response, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that the situation was different from that of three years ago, that he had ceaselessly pursued a policy of no growth without reform, and that currently, non-performing loans have decreased, the unemployment rate decreased, stock prices have recovered and both real and nominal GDP are marking positive growth. Prime Minister Koizumi stated that the characteristic of current economic growth in Japan was that it was not dependent on exports in any way, but was a result of expanding domestic demand centering on capital investment and consumption. Prime Minister Koizumi also congratulated President Bush on the robust state of the US economy.
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