Remarks by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the Press Conference
(Shanghai, Oct. 21, 2001)
This Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting was truly meaningful since it discussed not only economic issues but also political issues, including the question of how to counter terrorism. Member economies with different lifestyles as well as cultural and religious backgrounds gathered here and shared the recognition that we must stand up to acts of terrorism with firm resolve. We all shared the view that the fight against terrorism is not just a problem for the U.S. but a challenge for the entire world. We all agreed to stand firmly against terrorism and cooperate toward its eradication and deterrence. This was supposedly the largest meeting of leaders since the terrorist attacks in the U.S. APEC is usually focused on economic issues, but I believe that this APEC meeting has more political implications than any previous one had.
I found my frank exchanges of views with other leaders meaningful. Bilaterally, I met with President of the Republic of Korea Kim Dae Jung, Prime Minister of Australia John Howard, President of the United States of America George W. Bush, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore Goh Chok Tong, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Peru Alejandro Toledo, and President of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin. I had frank exchanges of views in these bilateral settings as well, and was able to reaffirm our friendly relationships, as well as our firm resolve to stand up to acts of terrorism.
Although those bilateral meetings were held out of busy schedules, they were truly fruitful, and I believe that these meetings were good for Japan, good for the bilateral relationships and good for the world. The world economy is especially being affected by terrorism, and therefore, each member economy is pursuing reforms for the sake of stability and trying to get back on the growth track. I explained to the leaders I met that since the start of my Cabinet, Japan has also been pursuing sustainable economic growth under the banner, "No growth without reform." I stressed that in these efforts, it is important to get back on the track of sustainable growth driven by private sector demand, an area in which Japan is now struggling. We should not merely pursue short-term positive growth. I mentioned that we must stick with reform for the sake of future sustainable development, even if it means a temporary negative growth.
I believe I gained a general understanding when I stated that whether growth is positive or low, I would stand firm and not back away from domestic reform efforts in Japan, and I think the recovery of Japan's economy would be greatly meaningful for the APEC member economies as well. I believe that I obtained the APEC member economies' understanding that economic development of the world's two largest economies, the United States and Japan, is necessary for the APEC member economies and the world as a whole, and that Japan's stance is to work toward sustainable growth without backing away from reforms.
As for the World Trade Organization (WTO), China's entry has already been decided. We the leaders welcomed this and agreed to cooperate toward the launch of a new WTO round.
Regarding the future of APEC, we the leaders agreed to exchange views and information in the economic cooperation process on the following themes. First, how the globalized world economy should tackle globalization and the New Economy in the future; and second, how each member economy will respond to new changes, in view of the fact that economic stability leads to political stability.
At this first APEC meeting of the 21st century, I was impressed with the superb hosting in Shanghai by the Chinese side. The administration of the conference and the warm hospitality extended to each leader were truly outstanding. This kind of atmosphere made it possible for each member economy to confirm continued cooperation in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and mutually confirm the importance of APEC toward further new development. I believe it was a very significant meeting in terms of both economic and political implications.
I believe you are all most interested in the issue of terrorism, so I will add a few words on the subject. In the summit meeting with President Bush, I reiterated three main points. First, that Japan will do everything it can to cooperate with the United States and other countries against terrorism. I expressed strong support of the United States' standing up with firm resolve to acts of terrorism, and strong support of the attacks on terrorists in Afghanistan as well. At my meeting with President Bush, the two of us reaffirmed that although attacks on Afghanistan are being carried out, they are attacks not on the people of Afghanistan, but on Osama bin Laden, terrorist groups, their bases, and the Taliban group that supports them. We reconfirmed that these are not attacks on the country of Afghanistan itself or its people. Second, in regard to the issue of Afghanistan, I mentioned three subjects: military strategy, political strategy and reconstruction strategy. I stated that we must think about these right now. In this sense, it is necessary to consider what kinds of measures are needed in order to destroy the terrorists and terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. Japan either is not able to or will not participate in military strategy against terrorist organizations and bases in Afghanistan. When thinking about political strategy from now on, I believe that it is necessary to consider right now what kind of stable government will be formed after the fall of the Taliban group that is currently harboring terrorists. That is, what kind of government is desirable for the people of Afghanistan? Third, that government must achieve not only political stability but also economic stability. How do we pursue reconstruction? What is the reconstruction strategy? I stated that Japan would cooperate as much as possible for reconstruction and political strategies. Japan is not adjacent to Afghanistan. We share no borders. And of course, Japan has no territorial ambitions. However, Japan intends to do all in its power to provide assistance and cooperation to eradicate terrorist organizations and assist refugees for the sake of the stability of Afghanistan. I said to President Bush that I would like to keep in close consultation with him regarding these points, and President Bush agreed. I think that we were able to reach agreement on the point that we must formulate counter-terrorism measures while considering the future reconstruction and stability of Afghanistan.
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