Main Speeches by the
and the Minister
for Foreign Affairs
by Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone
to the 104th Session of the National Diet
(January 27, 1986)
At the resumption of this 104th Session of the National Diet, I would like to explain my policies in light of the domestic and international outlooks anti to seek the understanding and cooperation of the people for these policies.
In the three years since I have undertaken the heavy responsibilities of state, I have called for a thorough-going review of our postwar systems, have promoted administrative, fiscal, anti other reforms, and made every effort to ensure that Japan is at one with the international community and at harmony with the rest of the world.
I am deeply appreciative of the broad understanding and support that the Japanese people have shown me in this endeavor.
In calling for this postwar review, I have tried to highlight the positive achievements of the last forty years and to look afresh at the various distortions which have crept into our basic systems and structures so that they can be rectified in preparation for the twenty-first century.
The forty years of postwar Japanese history have been decades of emerging from the rubble of war to achieve unprecedented prosperity under the present Constitution with its underlying ideals of peace and freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights. These have been proud times without parallel not only in Japanese history but in all of human history. Peace prevailed in the land, the standard of living was drastically improved, social mobility was heightened, more people came to think of themselves as middle-class as the gap between the rich and the poor narrowed, education was further spread among the populace, urban and rural lifestyles were equalized, and firm foundations were laid for a citizencentered society founded upon freedom and human rights.
Expressing my heartfelt respect for the efforts of earlier generations and the wisdom of the people in achieving these laudable advances, I would like to take this success still further. At the same time, I intend firmly to implement reform to rectify the various distortions and shortcomings which have shown up, to ambitiously promote Japan's internationalization and technological innovation such as is needed to create the information society of the future, to ready policies in preparation for the graying of the population, and to set Japan upon the path to new advances and prosperity in the twenty-first century.
Administrative and fiscal reform is at the heart of these reforms, an important task affecting the very basis of the state. As I have already said elsewhere, this is a great undertaking which will take three administrations ten years to complete. Administrative and fiscal reform now faces its hardest hurdles, and I intend to build upon our successes to date and to fight tenaciously for reform of the Japanese National Railways (JNR).
Likewise, I am determined to implement educational reform this year in response to popular demand, and to grapple with the most drastic reform of our tax system since the Shoup recommendations.
Overcoming external economic friction is an urgent task for making Japan a truly international state in harmony with the rest of the world, anal I will work steadily on this problem.
In moving forward on these policy issues, I am constantly aware of the need to explain the problems in clear terms, to seek the popular understanding and cooperation, and to stay in tune with the people.
Having marked its centennial last year, Japan's Cabinet system of government is now embarked upon its second century. Frankly admitting the problems with the prewar government structure and recognizing postwar developments, I hope that there will be still-further constructive advances in our parliamentary democracy.
The allocation of House of Representative seats is an issue basic to this parliamentary democracy, and I feel the legislative branch as a whole has a responsibility to respond to the popular trust and work for the earliest possible resolution of this abnormal situation deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last year. Thus I very much hope that reallocation will be promptly achieved in this Session and the Diet's responsibilities fulfilled as soon as possible based upon the interpretation submitted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the resolution passed by the entire House of Representatives in its last Session. The executive will extend all possible cooperation to this effort.
Respecting and advancing the authority of the legal order is basic to the sound development of democratic politics. From this perspective, the government will make every effort to prevent terrorist attacks by violent leftist extremists and will deal harshly with any that occur.
I would like next to state my basic thinking on a number of government policy areas.
Japan's Role and Responsibilities as an International State
The international situation still contains a number of harsh factors, and I intend for Japan to play an independent role commensurate with its position in the realization that there can be no peace and prosperity for Japan without peace and prosperity for all the world.
Overcoming external economic friction and contributing to global economic development are especially urgent imperatives, and I intend to make every effort in these areas. Likewise believing that there can be no prosperity for the North without prosperity for the South, I intend to extend positive cooperation for the developing countries' sound development.
The twelfth summit conference of the leading industrial countries is scheduled to be held in Tokyo this May, and this summit conference is extremely important as an opportunity for the leaders of the leading industrialized countries to gather together and to look for policy means to solve the various problems facing the world today. Fully aware of the significance of this summit conference's being held in Asia, I intend to build upon the relations of mutual understanding and trust which have been established among these world leaders and to do everything I can to make this a productive summit yielding bright prospects for world peace and prosperity through contributing to new world economic development, the maintenance of peace, the promotion of disarmament, and the further enhancement of mutual understanding and cooperation among Eastern and Western civilizations.
The summit conference held between the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union last November was, I believe, most significant in that, even though major differences remained between the two countries, a new start was made on dialogue for world peace and disarmament, including agreement on promoting arms control negotiations. As well as continuing to call upon the United States and the Soviet Union to continue this fruitful dialogue, Japan intends to support the efforts of the United States while maintaining solidarity among the free and democratic countries.
Consolidating world peace demands that, recognizing the reality that today's global peace and stability is maintained by the balance of nuclear and other forces, we seek to lower the level of balance as much as possible under effective and certain guarantees. I especially implore the United States and the Soviet Union to make drastic cuts in their nuclear arsenals, which have the ability to turn this verdant globe into a dead planet, and ultimately to seek their elimination while maintaining an appropriate balance and stability, and I very much hope that countries which are not yet parties to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty will sign and ratify this Treaty soon.
With the basic policy of promoting comprehensive security policies designed to ensure Japan's survival in this harsh international climate, it is imperative in this framework that we firmly maintain the security arrangements with the United States and, in consideration of the international situation, possess the minimum well-ordered and effective defense capability needed to defend Japan.
The government recently drew up its Mid-Term Defense Program to achieve the defense capability levels set forth in the National Defense Program Outline and reported on this Program to the last Session of the Diet, and we now intend to work for the steady implementation of this Program in consideration of the changing economic and fiscal situation and in harmony with other policies.
It goes without saying that this effort will be devoted exclusively to self-defense under our present Constitution, will firmly maintain the three non nuclear principles and the rule of civilian control, and will not pose any military threat to neighboring countries.
Cooperation with the developing countries is an important responsibility as an international state. The developing countries face cumulative debt problems and a number of other difficulties, but the government of Japan will make every possible effort for the quantitative and qualitative enhancement of our Official Development Assistance through the good-faith implementation of the Third Medium-Term Target established recently.
This year being the International Year of Peace as well as the thirtieth anniversary of Japan's admission to the United Nations, I would like to take this opportunity to renew our resolution to strengthen diplomatic efforts for peace at the United Nations.
I would like next to touch upon Japan's relations with a number of specific countries.
The alliance with the United States is basic to Japanese foreign policy, and its further development is an important cornerstone for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and all the world. Making every effort to solve the trade and economic and other problems in relations with the United States, the government will seek the further development of this bilateral relationship on the basis of mutual friendship and trust.
Learning from history, Japan is working to build relations of true friendship, including smooth economic relations, with the other countries of Asia and to cooperate with their stabilization and development.
Last year marked the twentieth anniversary of the normalization of our relations with the Republic of Korea, and these relations have become even firmer and more mature. I both appreciate and support President Chun Doo Hwan's efforts to further promote dialogue between North and South and reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula, and Japan will cooperate to make the 1988 Olympic Games a success.
The maintenance and development of good and stable relations with China has consistently been a major pillar of Japanese foreign policy. For the future, we will continue to seek to further develop relations with China, including expanding our trade relations, on the basis of the Joint Communique of 1972, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1978, and the four principles of peace and friendship, equality and mutual benefit, mutual trust, and long-term stability and in respect for Chinese General Secretary Hu Yaobang's four points.
We will also cooperate with the ASEAN countries' efforts to promote economic development and work for the continued strengthening of our friendly relations with these countries.
Relations with India were furthered as Prime Minister Gandhi paid his first visit to Japan and we succeeded in consolidating the foundations for a cooperative relationship in politics, economics, science and technology, and the whole range of fields looking ahead to the twenty-first century.
We will also further strengthen our increasingly close relations with the countries of Oceania.
Just recently, I visited Canada, where Prime Minister Mulroney and I were able to forge a new relationship of Japan-Canada cooperation for a better world.
Strengthening relations with the West European countries with which we share the fundamental values of freedom and democracy is basic to Japanese foreign policy. I was therefore glad to see European Communities Commission President Delors in Japan recently, and I intend to work to build closer relations with Europe across the broad spectrum of fields.
We have worked hard and long to promote dialogue with the Soviet Union so as to resolve the territorial problem, conclude a peace treaty, and establish stable relations based upon true mutual understanding. Foreign Minister Shevardnadze's recent visit to Japan, the hoisting of Regular Foreign Ministers' Consultations after a hiatus of about eight years, and the resumption of negotiations on a peace treaty, including the territorial issue, as well as the agreement on strengthening political dialogue between our two countries, including cross-visits by General Secretary Gorbachev and myself, were all thus highly significant in promoting Japan-U.S.S.R. relations. Japan will continue to negotiate tenaciously with the Soviet Union to further improve the relationship and build relations of true stability.
Enhancing exchanges in cultural, sports, arts, and other fields is essential if we are to promote mutual understanding and lasting trust with the peoples of other countries.
I am most pleased that the International Youth Year last year has served to stimulate interest in social participation and international cooperation among those young people who will lead Japan in the twenty-first century. Along with further promoting youth exchanges, I also intend to work to improve student exchange programs. Consistent with this policy, I am trying to improve the arrangements for home-stay pograms for young people from overseas.
Japan will also seek to cooperate positively with the protection of the global environment, an issue crucial to the survival of all humankind. Building upon the accomplishments of the International Year of the Forest last year, we will continue to work for the preservation and cultivation of the world's forestry resources.
Overcoming External Economic Friction and Achieving New Growth with Balanced Expansion
Looking at the world economy, there are still difficult unemployment problems in Europe and there are deep-rooted protectionist moves in the countries of North America and Europe as a result of their major current account disequilibriums and other problems. It is imperative that Japan respond by taking the initiative in sustaining and strengthening the free trading system and contribute actively to the formation of harmonious external economic relations and the revitalization of the world economy.
Accordingly, the government is continuing to work on ambitious market opening, import promotion, and other market access improvements, as well as to create the necessary conditions for promoting the liberalizaton of Japanese financial markets and the yen's internationalization.
It is also essential that we work to achieve sustained economic growth led by domestic demand, even as we maintain basic price stability, in order to eliminate external economic friction through balanced economic expansion. Premised upon steady and stable yen appreciation, and with all due concern for its impact on the Japanese economy, the government will continue to work for aptly flexible economic management and will promote the creation of a climate, legal and otherwise, that will allow maximum free rein for private-sector vitality.
It is from this perspective that the draft budget for Fiscal 1986 provides for an increase over the previous year in general public works spending through the use of fiscal investments and loans and other funds, calls for taxation measures such as tax breaks for homeowners and incentives for plant and equipment investment, and includes measures for drawing upon private-sector vitality in the construction of the Tokyo Bay Crossway and the bridge across the Akashi Straits as well as public works in response to technological innovation and increasing internationalization.
With the advances in technological innovation, the Japanese economy has entered a new growth era. Seeking to encourage this new growth, we are promoting creative technological development in basic research and frontier science fields, moving ahead to create conditions conducive to the shift to an advanced information society, advocating shorter work weeks and other measures facilitating a fair distribution of the benefits reaped from this economic development, and seeking expanded consumption and improved standards of living for all. At the same time, we are also ambitiously promoting international cooperation in pushing back new scientific frontiers and are contributing to the revitalization of the world economy.
The need for the Japanese economy to maintain harmony within the world economy demands that study be given to issues basic to the very structure of our economy. We are currently engaged in just such study, and I intend to make the necessary reforms and implement policy from this medium- to long-term perspective.
The recent tendency among the democratic countries to try to coordinate the international ramifications of their economic policies is most welcome, anal I believe Japan should play an active role for the further promotion of this tendency in trade, currency relations, science and technology, assistance to the developing countries, and other fields.
Work has begun within the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) on a New Round of multilateral trade negotiations to begin this September, and Japan will do everything possible to make this New Round a success. We will also cooperate closely with the other countries concerned for the improvement of the international currency system.
I am determined to renew my efforts at the Tokyo Summit for the establishment of political coordination and a balanced international economic system based upon international cooperation.
I will also promote policies to enable small businesses to respond smoothly to the yen's appreciation and other changes in the business climate and will forcefully promote fine-tuned small-business policies. Likewise, I am making further policy efforts to enable agricultural, forestry, and fishery firms to respond to this harsh environment by improving productivity through promoting biotechnology and other scientific developments.
Likewise, we will meet this changing situation with efforts to prevent unemployment, promote re-employment, and generally stabilize employment.
Steadfastly Promoting Basic Reforms
The government has made administrative reform one of its top policy priorities, and we are promoting these reforms steadily and systematically while respecting to the utmost the recommendations of the Provisional Council for Administrative Reform and the Provisional Commission on Enforcing Administrative Reform.
A number of important laws were passed in the last Session of the Diet, among them the reform of the pension system for civil service employees and the easing of restrictions on private-sector activity. In this same vein, the Administrative Reform Outline was adopted late last year calling for the consolidation of executive offices, the curtailment of national civil service employment by 4,528, the streamlining of quasi-public corporations, and other reforms.
The largest and most urgent issue confronting administrative reform today is that of getting the JNR off the critical list. We cannot put off solving this problem any longer. Building upon the basic plan adopted last October, the government will submit legislation to this Session of the Diet providing for splitting up and privatizing the JNR by 1987.
At the same time, while doing everything possible to facilitate policies for redundant JNR personnel and seeking the appropriate handling of the JNR's long term debt and other problems, we will make every effort to achieve reforms aimed at putting the JNR back on a sound operating track.
Other legislation that will be submitted to this Session of the Diet includes that for strengthening the Cabinet's ability to provide overall coordination, that to promote science and technology by encouraging exchanges of researches among industry, government, and university institutes, and that to consolidate, streamline, and simplify government-delegated services and national and local approvals and licensing.
In line with the Outline of Local Government Administrative Reform, the government will also cooperate positively so that local governments can move ahead with independent and comprehensive administrative reforms.
The government has made prodigious efforts for fiscal reform, but the climate remains very harsh. There is thus an urgent need to continue our determined efforts in the cause of fiscal reform and to alleviate budgetary rigidity in order to consolidate Japan's economic and social foundations as we go into the twenty-first century.
Accordingly, the expenditures side of the draft budget for fiscal 1986 calls for holding general expenditures at or below previous-year levels for the fourth year in a row and conducting a thorough rationalizatoin and economizing on expenditures in all fields, including reviewing existing systems and facilities and streamlining subsidies.
On the revenue side, the draft budget represents an attempt to conduct the necessary review from the perspective of achieving a more equitable and more appropriate tax burden, while reserving opinion on the possibilities for basic tax reform, and seeking to secure the maximum possible non-tax revenues.
We will also take all necessary steps and work to facilitate the operation of local government finances.
As a result of these efforts on both the revenues and the spending sides, it has been possible to hold government bond issues in the fiscal 1986 draft budget to \734 billion less than was initially budgeted at the beginning of fiscal 1985.
We are also ambitiously studying an overall review of the tax system to solve the various distortions and tax-related frustrations that have arisen as a result of the major changes in our social and economic circumstances recently.
I have asked the Tax Commission to start by looking at ways to make the tax structure more acceptable, including rectifying distortions that have crept in and alleviating the feeling that taxes are too high, and to then draw up a set of integrated policy recommendations, including revenue measures, by this fall.
This issue of tax reform is an urgent national imperative, and the government is firmly determined to deal with this, hearing the views and opinions of the people at large and gaining popular understanding on this issue.
Looking ahead to the twenty-first century, educational reform is intended to enable Japan to continue to be a creative and energetic society by fostering people who can contribute to the international community even as they respect the individual, preserve Japan's cultural heritage, and take pride in being Japanese.
The Provisional Council on Educational Reform has already submitted its first round of recommendations for specific reforms, and the government has responded by seeking to implement these specifics, including efforts to accept more diverse qualifications for university admission and to reform the university entrance examination system.
The Provisional Council on Educational Reform intends to submit its second set of recommendations this spring, and the government intends to use these recommendations in a major effort for educational reform.
Every parent hopes that his or her children will be able to grow up healthy of body and sound of mind. It is of primary importance that the school respond appropriately to instances of hazing and juvenile delinquency, and we will also enhance our policies in this area to enable school, home, and community to cooperate in dealing with these problems.
Achieving a Comfortable Society
I intend to make every effort to create communities of personal warmth, affluence, and beauty -- neighborhoods that people can take pride in being part of -- so that the people can feel that their lives are both worthwhile and safe.
The home is the basic unit of our lives and the gathering place for the family, and I intend to promote housing construction while trying to hold land prices stable. I will also work to achieve pleasantly comfortable living environments through promoting more planting of flora and providing the lifestyle amenities and other social infrastructure that are so much a part of our lives. In addition, I am promoting the enhancement of distinctive and attractive communities in outlying areas by promoting local arts, culture, sports, and other facets to aid the revitalization of local economies.
In this vein, the Fourth Comprehensive National Development Plan is due to be drawn up by this fall detailing the basic program for making Japan a more comfortable place for the twenty-first century.
We have today achieved that ancient dream of longevity, and the average life span is now fourscore years, yet this in turn demands that we create social systems that will enable every person to live a secure and worthwhile life.
Part of this is in social security, where the need is to ensure the system's effectiveness while striking a fair balance between obligations and benefits. The amendment of the pension system for civil service employees in the last Session of the Diet completed our reform of the public pension programs, and the government will continue to fine-tune these systems as necessary and to seek to ensure that they develop stably and systematically over the long term.
We will also promote comprehensive and individualized health insurance to enable all of the people to lead healthy lives. Cancer, for example, is the number one cause of death in Japan today, its conquest fervently desired by all humankind and I intend to promote comprehensive and priority policies in keeping with the Comprehensive Ten-year Strategy for Cancer Control. Likewise, we will be submitting legislation to this Session of the Diet to effect the necessary reforms in the insurance provisions for older people so as to establish a senior-citizen health care system appropriate to our long-lived society, as well as making a major effort to conquer the so-called incurable diseases.
Likewise, every consideration will be given to the needs of the bedridden elderly, the handicapped, and others who are socially and economically disadvantaged.
At the same time, we will work to provide the legal framework for ensuring employment for older people, assuming retirement at age sixty.
Responsive to the rapid aging of the Japanese population, the government is hoping to have a comprehensive outline of social policies befitting a long-lived society ready by mill-year, and we will work for coordinated policy implementation not only in pensions, medical care, and employment but also in education, housing, environmental considerations, and other important areas.
It is also important to promote enhanced status for women. Building upon the accomplishments of the United Nations Decade for Women and in line with the resolutions of the Nairobi Conference last July, I intend to continue promoting measures for women in a wide range of fields.
Recognizing that the state has a basic responsibility to provide for the safety of its people, the government will work to enhance policies for securing public order, providing against natural disasters, and promoting traffic safety.
Pernicious acts of terrorism and guerrilla attacks disrupting society and endangering the public welfare represent a grave threat to Japan's peace and democracy, and the government will, with the cooperation of the people, promote policies to eliminate such violence and to ensure that the people are able to live their daily lives free from fear.
Forty years have passed since the end of World War II, and there are finally signs of major change in the way the world is structured politically, economically, and socially. Like it or not, Japan is deeply involved in these changes, and people everywhere are looking to us to become a mainstay of the new architecture.
With its high standard of living achieved through untiring efforts, Japan is today on the verge of a new metamorphosis and transformation. Responding to the popular demand for true affluence, we must move from abundance of flow to abundance of stock, from an era of material well-being to one of spiritual wealth as well. Likewise, we must achieve true internationalization in our society, economy, and other fields.
The administrative reforms designed to curb governmental bloating and give freer rein to private-sector creativity and the educational reforms designed to foster sound citizens able to provide wise leadership for future generations are all ultimately important stepping stones on the path to making Japan truly international and winning a place of honor in the international community.
If we are to minimize international tensions, abolish nuclear weapons, achieve true and lasting peace, and enable all humankind to benefit from worldwide prosperity, it is imperative that all peoples in all countries work to give rise to a new global ethic banishing arbitrariness and prejudice, promoting mutual respect in the spirit of goodwill and cooperation, and realizing that all cultures and civilizations everywhere are irrevocably bound together in a common fate. I am confident that Japan can make a major contribution in this area as well.
Backed by rapid scientific anti technological progress, European society has been a vital cultural center and has spread world wide to dominate the last few centuries. In the twentieth century, however, people have come increasingly to realize that the diverse thought patterns, ethical copies, and social systems that have sprung up across the globe over history's millenniums are all, each in its own way, valuable embodiments of humankind's collective wisdom and dignity.
At the same time, it has also become increasingly clear that scientific and technological advances alone do not ensure happiness, as seen, for example, in the peril of nuclear war and the threat that genetic engineering poses to the dignity of the individual.
There are two lessons to be learned here. The first is the need to ensure that science and technology does not become civilization's master but is pursued consistent with our cultural values; and the second is the need, just as scientists acknowledge the value of each other's contributions, to enhance mutual understanding and broaden the foundations of our shared values in cultural and spiritual fields.
Over 2,500 years ago, Gautama the Buddha said that "I am my own lord throughout heaven and earth," and that "all is holy in the world of nature." This is the essence of Oriental philosophy.
We Japanese believe that nature is the true birthplace of humankind and that we must live in harmony with all fauna, flora, and every other living thing. With its advocacy of harmony and coexistence, this ethic of oneness has been a basic teaching throughout our long history. Thus it was that, looking out over the chasm separating modern civilization's material and spiritual sides, I felt compelled at the recent program commemorating the United Nations' fortieth anniversary to expound upon this ethic handed down for generations untold. I am convinced that this ethic, at one with the founding spirit of the United Nations, is the basic philosophy needed to achieve world peace with all peoples living together in harmony.
In our zeal to assimilate foreign cultures and ideas, we have sometimes been derelict in our duty to help the rest of the world benefit from our Japanese ideas and cultural heritage. There is a new need today to make a major effort to explain Japan overseas and to assist other peoples wanting to know more about Japan. Prerequisite to this, we must be able to look objectively at our own civilization and make an effort to know ourselves better.
The Tokyo Summit scheduled for later this year is an ideal opportunity to show Japan off to the rest of the world and to help people understand Japan better. Because this Tokyo Summit will bring together the leaders from the foremost countries of the Atlantic and Pacific alike, I am determined to make this Tokyo Summit a success so that it can mark the beginning of a new era of Atlantic-Pacific cooperation and spark the first steps toward creating a new global culture founded upon the fusion of East and West.
The twentieth century's tumultuous times of change are drawing to a close. Standing at this historical crossroads, I am determined to resolve the problems of national government one by one and to move steadily forward, in courage, honesty, and cooperation with the Japanese people and the rest of the world, to weave the raw material of time into threads of hope for a social fabric in which Japan will be a nation of innovative affluence and influence in a world of peace and natural beauty.
It is in this spirit that I ask once more for your continued understanding and support.
Foreign Policy Speech
Minister for Foreign Affairs Shintaro Abe
to the 104th Session of the National Diet
(January 27, 1986)
I would like at the resumption of this 104th Sessoin of the National Diet to set forth Japan's basic foreign policy.
In the more than three years since I have become Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have grappled with the foreign policy issues of furthering Japan's peace and prosperity and contributing to world peace and prosperity through cooperation with other countries. These efforts are now yielding fruit, but the international climate remains harsh, and the diplomatic schedule features the very important Tokyo Summit this May. Working on the basis of my experience in this post, I intend to devote every effort to these foreign policy issues.
Looking ahead to the May Tokyo Summit, there have been a number of welcome developments for international economic cooperation, including the dollar's depreciation after last September's meeting of the Group of Five (G-5) finance ministers and central bankers and the movement toward the start of a New Round of multilateral trade negotiations within the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). However, there has been a gradual slowing of economic growth in the leading countries, and the nations of the world face a plethora of economic difficulties, including fiscal deficits, current account disequilibriums, severe unemployment, mounting protectionist pressures, and cumulative external debts. On the international political front, last year saw the start of arms control negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union, the first U.S.-U.S.S.R. Summit Meeting in six and a half years, and other major developments in East-West relations, and this year is an important year with the scheduled second U.S.-U.S.S.R. Summit Meeting. At the same time, strife and disorder continue in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America,
Indochina, and other regions, and the escalation of terrorism is destabilizing the international situation.
Against this background, the Tokyo Summit offers an opportunity for Prime Minister Nakasone and the other world leaders to discuss cooperation for the stable development of the world economy and, in view of the significance of the Summit's being held in Asia, to conduct candid exchanges of opinion on the issues of world peace and stability. I intend to do everything I can to ensure that this Summit is a resounding success.
Working for a More Open, More International Japan
Until recently, Japan has been primarily a beneficiary in the international community, and we have tended to see catching up with the other major countries as our international contribution target, but we have now come to the point where it behooves us to take the initiative in taking responsibility and bearing the costs of preserving world peace and prosperity.
Last year, Japan formulated an Action Program for Enhanced Market Access, worked to advance its implementation, and made major efforts for the yen's stable appreciation and the expansion of domestic demand. Continuing with such efforts and attempting to rectify our external imbalances, Japan must cooperate with other countries to roll back protectionism.
Promoting the New Round of trade negotiations is an important part of this effort. These negotiations, now in the preparatory stage, must succeed if we are to have a clear and firm outlook for the free trading system. Now more than ever, it is imperative that the countries of the world negotiate to lower and dismantle the barriers to trade, seek to establish new international rules reflecting the heightened importance of trade in services, and to cooperate to strengthen the functioning of GATT. Japan intends to make every effort for the attainment of these goals.
Japan's current account surplus is approaching $50 billion per year, the economic friction with our trading partners is growing increasingly heated, and there is no way that we can allow this situation to continue in our relations with other countries. There is an urgent imperative that we make an active effort to be receptive to things foreign and to make Japan more open economically, socially, and even psychologically. Although there will be various difficulties encountered in promoting Japan's internationalization, I must emphasize anew the need to radically revise our thinking in grappling with this issue.
Relations with the Countries of the Asia-Pacific Region
Looking ahead to the holding of the Summit in the Asia-Pacific city of Tokyo, I am once more acutely aware of Japan's position as an Asia-Pacific country, and hence of the fact that there can be no peace and prosperity for Japan without relations of friendship and cooperation with the other countries of this region, and of the strong relations of interdependence which Japan has with these countries. Our relations with the Asia-Pacific countries have recently taken on new depth and breadth, anti I intend to promote a foreign policy emphasizing not just relations between countries but also the bonds between people and the warmth of heart-to-heart encounters.
Building upon the successes of our Asian policy to date, I intend especially to continue positive dialogue with the peoples of these countries to enhance mutual understanding as well as to step up government-business coordination to contribute to these countries' efforts for economic development and improved living standards. In keeping with the basic premise of Japan's Asian policy of learning from history and its lessons, I am emphasizing the promotion of peace and friendship with these countries.
Japan and the Republic of Korea marked the twentieth anniversary of the normalization of relations last year. Our bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation have today become even stronger and more mature, and I intend to work to further expand and deepen these relations on the basis of mutual understanding and exchanges between people in all walks of life in both countries.
Our basic policy of building upon economic, cultural, and other exchanges with north Korea will be maintained unchanged.
Japan welcomes the recent moves to maintain north-south dialogue on the Korean Peninsula, and we will continue to work to create a climate conducive to the further promotion of such moves and the achievement of reduced tensions in this region and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
China has made remarkable economic development in recent years. At the same time, Japan-China relations have progressed soundly and a firm foundation has been established of friendly and cooperative relations. I myself visited China last year to take part in the Regular Ministerial Consultations between Japan and China as well as to meet with Chinese leaders, and I intend to make further efforts through such continuing dialogue to further promote the building of long-term stable Japan-China relations based upon the Joint Communique of 1972, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1978, and the four governing principles of peace and friendship, equality and mutual benefit, mutual trust, and long-term stability.
Relations between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries have developed steadily through the Japan-ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting, the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with the Dialogue Partners, and other forums. As well as seeking to strengthen relations with the ASEAN countries through exchanges in a variety of fields, Japan also intends to work in support of these countries' efforts for stability and development.
Japan continues to support the efforts of the ASEAN countries for a comprehensive political settlement to the problem of Kampuchea, as well as to work to create a climate conducive to the solution of this problem through dialogue among all countries concerned, Viet Nam included.
Looking toward our relations with the countries of Southwest Asia, the foundations for a new relationship of cooperation between Japan and India were consolidated with the visit to Japan by Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. We also intend to continue to support Pakistan, which is buffeted by the problems in neighboring Afghanistan. More broadly, Japan will extend support and cooperation to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, formed late last year, as a development favorable to the stability of this region.
As well as seeking to strengthen our relations of friendship and cooperation with Australia and New Zealand, Japan also intends to extend further cooperation for the development of the island countries of the South Pacific.
We welcome the fact that discussions are now under way on Pacific cooperation at both the governmental and non-governmental levels for balanced development in the Pacific region, and we intend to promote cooperation in continued observance of the opinions of the ASEAN countries and other partners.
East-West Relations and Solidarity among the Western Democracies
Japanese foreign policy is also about contributing to world peace and stability.
It is a cold fact of life that world peace is today sustained by the balance of power, and it is important for the Western democracies that, while maintaining sufficient deterrence to preserve the peace, we promote dialogue and negotiations with the Soviet Union and the Eastern-bloc countries and seek to stabilize this balance at as low a level as possible. Japan intends to continue working actively to this end in the United Nations, the Conference on Disarmament, and other forums such as by tabling proposals for the step-by-step ban on nuclear testing and otherwise contributing to the realization of effective and specific disarmament measures.
It is most significant for the cause of world peace and stability that the United States and the Soviet Union, which have especially important responsibilities in this area, held a summit conference last year with serious and substantive discussions for the first time in six and a half years. Japan welcomes the fact that this meeting served to enhance understanding between the two leaders and that there was agreement on strengthening and maintaining dialogue at all levels. Although the two sides are still far apart on arms control and it would not do to be overly optimistic about the future of these negotiations, Japan hopes that the negotiations will prove lastingly and effectively successful in promoting disarmament and the attainment of world peace, anti we are working to that end.
In dealing with the problems of world peace and stability, it is important to maintain closely cooperative relations with the other Western democracies.
The relationship of friendship and cooperation with the United States grounded upon the Japan-United States security arrangements is the cornerstone of Japan's foreign policy, and it is important to the peace and stability of Asia and all the world that good relations be maintained and developed between Japan and the United States. Along with maintaining the minimum necessary sophisticated defense capability, Japan will make further efforts to enhance the credibility of those Japan-United States security arrangements which are the foundation for Japan's national security.
Building upon the agreement reached at the Japan-United States summit early last year, our two countries have conducted ambitious consultations on telecommunications and three other trade fields, and Secretary of State Shultz and I confirmed our agreement on the broad outlines of solutions to these problems during my recent visit to the United States. Nevertheless, our overall economic relations with the United States remain trying, and I am determined to continue with my efforts to promote the sound development of our bilateral economic relations and to preserve the smooth workings of the Japan-United States relationship.
Just recently, I went with Prime Minister Nakasone to visit Canada, an important friend across the Pacific, and I intend to continue to work to further promote our friendly and cooperative relations with that country in line with the agreed basic agenda for Japan-Canada cooperation.
Relations with the countries of Western Europe with whom we share the basic values of freedom and democracy are another important pillar of Japanese foreign policy. Despite the steady strengthening of Japan-Europe cooperative relations in a wide range of fields recently, the European stance toward Japan remains harsh over the relatively intractable trade imbalance. Following up on my consultations with European Communities Commission President Delors when he was in Japan and my recent visits to the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany, I intend to work through such Japan-Europe dialogue to resolve the economic friction as well as to further promote political dialogue and exchanges in the cultural, scientific and technological, and other fields.
In our relations with the Soviet Union, Japan recently hosted a visit by Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze and held the first Regular Foreign Ministers' Consultations in eight years. The fact that these candid exchanges of views with Foreign Minister Shevardnadze led to the resumption of negotiations on the peace treaty, including the territorial question, and agreement on further strengthening the political dialogue between our two countries at a variety of levels, including the highest, is an important first step in promoting Japanese policy toward the Soviet Union. Although the Soviet position on the territorial question remains extremely harsh, I intend to continue to work tenaciously in upholding Japan's unwavering policy position, in keeping with the will of the people, of seeking to resolve the Northern Territories issue and conclude a peace treaty with the Soviet Union.
Promoting relations with the countries of Eastern Europe is important from the perspective of easing East-West tensions, and I will continue to implement fine-tuned policies in full consideration of the policies and situations of each of the East European countries.
The Middle East, Latin America, and Africa
Peace, stability, and economic development in the developing regions of the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere are indispensable factors n the peace and prosperity of the international community today.
Realizing this, I have visited the Middle East and am making every possible effort to impress this position upon the parties concerned, and these Japanese efforts have won the high regard of the international community.
Staying in consultation with the United Nations and the countries concerned, Japan will continue to work tenaciously with Iran and Iraq to create a climate conducive to a prompt and peaceful settlement of their conflict.
On the problem of Middle East peace, Japan has hoped for further developments for peace last year and this year and is working to get the parties concerned to respond flexibly and realistically.
It is most regrettable that Soviet military forces are still in Afghanistan now, six years after the Soviet intervention, and Japan intends to work in cooperation with like-minded countries to achieve a political settlement including the total withdrawal of Soviet forces.
Politically, there have recently been signs of progress in the process of democratization in Latin America, and economically and socially these countries are making prodigious efforts to overcome their cumulative external debts and other difficulties. Japan will extend every possible support to these efforts.
Unfortunately, there were major natural disasters in Mexico anal Columbia last year. I myself visited Mexico immediately after the earthquake to see if there was anything Japan could do, and I feel our swift and appropriate support efforts to these two countries have achieved their initial objectives.
In response to such overseas emergencies, we will be putting international emergency relief arrangements in place including a new international relief corps to enable Japan to cooperate not only with economic support but also with the overall organizational capability to show our good intentions in good works such as by providing rapid-deployment teams of medical professionals, relief workers, and other personnel.
Looking to the Central American problem, Japan strongly supports the efforts for a peaceful solution by the Contadora Group and other peace forces in the region, and we intend to cooperate for the development of the Central America and the Caribbean region.
Many of the countries of Africa continue to face structural food shortages and other economic difficulties. Continuing our emergency assistance to tide them over these straits, we intend to promote the Japanese concept of a Green Revolution for Africa in the medium and long term as well as to work to expand cooperative relations in human resources development and other personal contacts and to deepen mutual understanding with the countries of Africa.
Concerned with the deterioration of the situation in South Africa, Japan will continue, in light of its strong and consistent opposition to apartheid, to extend every possible cooperation in concert with the rest of the international community for the dismantling of apartheid and the peaceful resolution of the situation there.
Cooperating for Stability and Growth in the Developing Countries
Japan has an important international responsibility to cooperate for stability and growth in the developing countries.
Realizing this, the government last September established its Third Medium-term Target for the continued enhancement of our Official Development Assistance (ODA). In the draft budget for the initial year, fiscal1986, we have calculated 7.0% growth for ODA over the previous year, and I believe this is a good start on achieving our target.
At the same time, it is increasingly important given our tight fiscal situation that this assistance be implemented effectively and efficiently. Accordingly, I convened an Advisory Committee on Effective Implementation of ODA made up of leading experts from all walks of life last April and intend to draw upon the recommendations of this Advisory Committee as I work to make Japanese ODA more effective and more efficient.
The developing countries face numerous economic difficulties, including their burgeoning external debts and the collapse of commodity prices. Japan intends to work for the solution of these problems in the context of international cooperation.
At the same time, Japan will also continue to work arduously on behalf of the more than ten million refugees around the world, including financial and foodstuff assistance as well as the acceptance of Indochinese refugees wishing to resettle in Japan.
Cooperation with the Work of the United Nations
This year marks the thirtieth year since Japan's admission to the United Nations. Despite its problems, the United Nations has grown over the last forty years into a universally accepted multilateral organization dealing with issues of broad concern to the international community. Nevertheless, there is an urgent need today for the United Nations to take the initiative in organizational revitalization through fiscal, administrative, and other reform efforts to become a truly effective forum for international cooperation. It was in this perspective that I proposed at last year's General Assembly Session that a Group of High-level Intergovernmental Experts to improve the efficiency of the United Nations' administrative and financial functioning be established, and I am encouraged that this Group has been duly impaneled. As one of the original drafters of this resolution, Japan will actively cooperate with the Group's work.
This year also marks the International Year of Peace, and Japan will work even harder for world peace through cooperation with the United Nations.
Responding to the frequency of international terrorism, last year's United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning all forms of terrorism, the first time such a resolution has been unanimously adopted. Terrorists acts are a gauntlet thrown down to the entire international community. Japan stands resolutely opposed to any and all forms of terrorism, and we intend to promote international cooperation to ensure the public's safety and peace of mind.
Promoting Mutual Understanding within the International Community
Given the well-publicized international friction and perception gaps, it is important that Japan work to promote mutual understanding within the international community, and we will strive to promote visits back and forth, Japanese language studies overseas, and other cultural exchanges.
In the same vein, the government will also cooperate positively with the international exchange programs initiated by local governments and citizen groups and other efforts to internationalize areas outside of the major metropolitan centers.
As may be seen in this brief outline, Japanese foreign policy has a number of important and difficult issues before it. If Japan is to deal farsightedly, forcefully, and flexibly with these issues, it is imperative that we act today to strength and enhance the foreign policy executive structure, to upgrade our information-gathering and -analysis capability, and to fortify our capacity for negotiating internationally. I especially intend to work to improve our organizational readiness for economic cooperation and cultural exchanges and to buttress our research and analysis organization to enable Japan to stay atop the international situation.
At the same time, it is also necessary to pay full consideration to addressing the requirements of the increasing numbers of Japanese traveling and living overseas, including protecting their property and persons and seeing that their children's educational needs are met.
As we look at the harsh international climate around us and look ahead to the twenty-first century, it is clear that Japan has an important responsibility for world peace and prosperity. Realizing this, I am determined to develop a creative foreign policy and flexible responses to the issues facing Japan.
Yet this cannot be done without the strong support of the people and my fellow Dietmembers, and I would therefore like both to thank you for your steadfast cooperation to date and to appeal for your continued support in this great endeavor.
Address by His Excellency
Mr. Yasuhiro Nakasone
Prime Minister of Japan
at the Commemorative Session
of the 40th Anniversary of the United Nations
(October 23, 1985)
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, distinguished delegates,
On behalf of the people of Japan and their Government, I should like first to express my congratulations to the United Nations on its fortieth anniversary.
Before beginning my prepared remarks, I should also like to convey my nation's heartfelt sympathies to Mexico. Having experienced severe earthquakes ourselves, we Japanese stand with the people of Mexico in their sorrow and suffering.
At the time the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco on 26 June 1945, Japan was waging a desperate and lonely war against over 40-odd Allied countries. Since the end of that war, Japan has profoundly regretted the ultra nationalism and militarism it unleashed, and the untold suffering the war inflicted upon peoples around the world and, indeed, upon its own people.
In seeking to rebuild their homeland, the Japanese people, while respecting their own distinctive traditions and culture, eagerly embraced the universal and fundamental human values-namely, freedom, democracy and human rights--and formulated a new Constitution based upon these truths.
Japan has vowed, to itself and the world, to remain a peaceful State possessing the capability for self-defense only, and never again to become a military power. Having suffered the scourge of war and the atomic bomb, the Japanese people will never again permit the revival of militarism on their soil.
These basic tenets of Japanese policy are at one with the lofty Purposes and Principles set forth in the Charter of the United Nations. Japan was admitted to this Organization as its eightieth Member State in December 1956, eleven years after the war's end, and the Japanese flag was at last raised in front of this United Nations Headquarters.
Since joining this Organization, Japan has made the United Nations a central pillar of its foreign policy, and it has sought Japanese peace and prosperity within the broader context of global peace and prosperity.
Our commitment is evident first in our efforts to promote world peace and disarmament, especially to banish nuclear weapons from this earth.
As the only people ever to have experienced the devastation of the atomic bomb, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese people have steadfastly called for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Nuclear energy should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes; it must never again be employed as a means of destruction. The nuclear-weapon States should lend a responsive ear to the world's urgent appeals for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
In this respect, I must say, the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union have especially grave responsibilities. The leaders of these two countries should present clearly to all the peoples of the world the actions they intend to take, while maintaining a proper balance, to reduce drastically their nuclear arsenals and ultimately to eliminate these weapons which could extinguish all life on earth and transform mankind's only home into a dead planet.
I hope very much that the United States and the Soviet Union will negotiate patiently and earnestly in their ongoing bilateral disarmament talks in Geneva and in their upcoming summit meeting in November so that all the peoples of the world can be freed from the nuclear threat.
Japan has long stressed the need for a comprehensive nuclear test ban as an important element of nuclear disarmament. As a practical approach to achieving such a comprehensive test ban, it has proposed a step-by-step formula or steadily reducing the size of nuclear tests. I earnestly hope that this proposal and all other means will be pursued to achieve an effective nuclear test ban.
At the same time, Japan sees a clear need to strengthen the NPT regime. I strongly urge all countries that are not yet parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to accede to it as soon as possible.
The reduction of conventional weapons stockpiles is also essential. The many armed conflicts which are inflicting terrible suffering on people in various regions around the world today are all being fought with conventional weapons. As a nation dedicated to peace, Japan has firmly maintained a general policy of refraining from arms exports. Controlling the transfer of conventional weapons across national borders is essential to prevent the outbreak and escalation of international conflicts. Other major tasks are to ban and eliminate chemical weapons and to prevent an arms race in outer space.
The stalemate in arms control and disarmament is basically attributable to the distrust between East and West. It is already forty years since the wall of distrust, which the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Winston Churchill characterized as the "iron curtain," became evident, and it is high time that it be completely dismantled.
I am also deeply concerned that the regional conflicts raging in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Central America, and elsewhere might, if left unchecked, trigger a major war. Japan has thus been making an effort to create a climate conducive to the early resolution of these conflicts based on such principles of international law as peaceful co-existence, self-determination of peoples, and non-interference in another State's internal affairs, and in the spirit of good-neighborliness and friendship. In Asia, these principles and spirit were embodied in the ten-point Bandung Declaration of 1955. I believe these principles are of universal value for the attainment of justice and equity in international politics.
I call strongly for the abolition of apartheid in South Africa. Likewise, Japan hopes that Namibian independence will be achieved without delay, in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions.
Japan's commitment to global peace and prosperity is also evident in its efforts to promote free trade and to cooperate with developing countries.
Following the bitter experiences of the 1930s, free trade has been nurtured among nations as a guiding principle for the postwar world economy. Yet, free trade is as fragile as glass; if we do not take care, even the slightest shock may shatter it to bits. Because free trade is premised upon competition, it inevitably inflicts pain on certain industries in every country. Yet if countries fall back on selfish national policies in an effort to avoid this pain, then clearly the entire structure of free trade will collapse.
Like a powerful narcotic, protectionism may induce a feeling of temporary well-being in the industries it is supposed to protect. But protectionism not only saps the vitality of its users, it also begets further protectionism, and ultimately the world economy will lapse into a coma.
We must therefore rededicate ourselves to resisting the lure of protectionism and to preserving and fortifying the free trade system.
Recognizing the need to match words with deeds, I am implementing a forceful programme to make the Japanese market one of the most open in the world. I have also advocated the start of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations within the GATT framework. I hope the distinguished delegates assembled here today will lend their understanding and support to this effort so that these negotiations may be initiated as soon as possible, and brought to a successful conclusion.
Clearly, progress in the developing countries is indispensable to the sound development of the world economy.
Itself a developing country only one hundred years ago, Japan achieved its modernization and industrialization with the support of many advanced countries. We well understand the aspirations and frustrations of developing countries.
Today, it is Japan's turn to help others, and I believe Japan has a moral duty and major international responsibility to use its economic power, technology and experience to assist developing countries in their nation-building and human-resource development efforts.
I have long reminded the people of Japan and other industrialized countries that there can be no prosperity for the North without prosperity for the South. I firmly believe this to be true, and I believe Japan has an important global mission to act as a bridge between North and South.
Japan has twice implemented programmes to double its Official Development Assistance, and the third medium-term programme, decided upon just recently, calls for continuing this improvement in our ODA. Under this programme, which will go into effect in 1986, Japan will seek to raise its total amount of ODA for the seven years 1986 through 1992 to over $40 billion, and to make the disbursement level for 1992 double that for 1985. Japan will therefore be expanding bilateral grants, multilateral assistance, and yen loans in a determined effort to meet this programme's targets.
Japan's concern for global peace and prosperity is evident also in its cooperation with peoples throughout the world in the development of culture and civilization.
Culture is the supreme mark of man, and I believe that the goal of politics is to contribute to culture. From this perspective, I have placed special emphasis in domestic politics on education, scholarship, the arts, science and technology, and environment, all of which foster the enrichment of culture. Such efforts are today increasingly important in the international community as well.
International exchanges in science and technology, the arts, sports, scholarship, and other fields provide indispensable support for peace and cultural creativity. We ought to take full advantage of the remarkable advances being made in transportation, communications and information processing, to lower and even remove the walls that separate the peoples of the world. We ought to promote more international exchanges among peoples, giving the fullest respect to the human rights of all peoples, and in this way, build a truly peaceful world civilization. I believe success in maintaining peace depends upon nothing less than mankind's collective conscience and the level of cultural exchange among peoples.
As a nation committed to peace and cultural development, ever since its admission to this Organization, Japan has cooperated faithfully and vigorously with its activities, providing financial support, information and personnel. We intend to stengthen our support, giving particular attention to such issues as the environment, population and health.
Faithful to the basic spirit of its Charter, the United Nations has worked for forty years to respond to the changing international situation. Looking ahead to the twenty-first century, we must not shrink from the task of continually reviewing and improving the functions of our United Nations in order to maximize its effectiveness.
Japan is prepared to cooperate in every way it can in this regard. It was in this spirit that Japan's Foreign Minister Abe proposed before this General Assembly last month that a Group of Eminent Persons be established to study ways to make the United Nations more efficient. I strongly urge that this proposal be given the support and cooperation of all delegations gathered here.
Our generation is recklessly destroying the natural environment which has evolved over the course of millions of years and is essential for our survival. Our soil, water, air, flora and fauna are being subjected to the most barbaric attack since the earth was created. This folly can only be called suicidal.
Tragically in many regions of the world, starvation daily claims the precious lives of thousands of human beings, mostly children who are the future's best hope. Malnutrition and other harsh conditions hamper the sound physical growth and mental development of countless other people. Indeed, some regions of the world are in danger of losing an entire generation of people.
If we are to preserve our irreplaceable Earth and ensure the survival of mankind, I believe we must create a new global ethic and devise systems to support it. Let us act today so that future historians can look back upon the closing years of the twentieth century as the era when co-existence and mutual respect were achieved among all peoples for the first time, and when men found a proper balance with nature.
We Japanese derive our beliefs and philosophy from traditions handed down by our ancestors over thousands of years, and from later influences of Confucianism and Buddhism. Basic to our philosophy is the concept that man is born by the grace of the great universe. Japanese poets throughout history have expressed this concept in their poems. In this tradition I composed this haiku one evening:
|A-ma-no-ga-wa||Afar and above the dark and endless sky,|
|Wa-ga fu-ru-sa-to ni||the Milky way runs|
|Na-ga-re-ta-ri||toward the place I come from.|
We Japanese generally believe that the great natural universe is our home, and that all living things should co-exist in harmony with the natural universe. We believe that all living things--humans, animals, trees, grasses--are essentially brothers and sisters.
I doubt that this philosophy is unique to the Japanese. I believe that better understanding of it could contribute much to the creation of universal values for our international community.
The human potential for creativity is distributed evenly among all peoples in all lands, and all the different religious beliefs and artistic traditions in the world are equally unique and equally valuable. The starting point for world peace is, I believe, a recognition of this diversity of human culture and a humble attitude of mutual appreciation and respect.
If we can all start with this attitude, then I believe all cultures and civilization in the world will progress, and we can create a new and truly harmonious global civilization for all humanity.
Is not the United Nations the perfect vehicle for promoting this mutual appreciation and respect, and for building a new and harmonious civilization for the twenty-first century?
Mr. President, distinguished delegates,
Next year, Halley's Comet will make its closest approach to the earth in seventy-six years. What changes have taken place on earth since the comet's last approach?
Science and technology have surely advanced far beyond the wildest dreams of the people at that time. Through rocket probes launched by Japan and other countries, we are now about to penetrate the secrets of this mysterious comet which have puzzled mankind throughout history.
During the past seventy-five years, colonialism has been largely eradicated from the earth, the number of independent States achieving self-determination has multiplied, anti respect for human freedom and dignity has become much more widespread than before.
Nevertheless, through scientific progress, man has created a terrible monster, the hydrogen bomb, and we have reached a point where, with genetic engineering, the dignity of human life itself is threatened. Indeed, is not mankind's present situation - threatened by "atoms" from without and within - more precarious than ever before? Are we not suffering more than ever before from starvation, violence, discrimination, and narcotics? Are we not destroying our environment on an unprecedented scale, and perhaps endangering the survival of all life on this planet?
As a political leader I cannot but feel a deep sense of responsibility for the situation I am witnessing.
Thus I ask you to join me in a vow. Let us vow to work together so that, in the middle of the next century, when Halley's Comet completes another orbit and once again sweeps by our planet, our children anti grandchildren, having completely abolished nuclear weapons and achieved general disarmament, will be able to look up at it and report that the Earth is one, and that mankind everywhere is co-existing in harmony and working for the well-being of all life on this verdant globe.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.
His Excellency Mr. Yasuhiro Nakasone
Prime Minister of Japan
before the Parliament of Canada
January 13, 1986
Right Honourable Prime Minister,
Honourable Speaker of the Senate,
Honourable Speaker of the House of Commons,
Honourable Members of the Senate,
Honourable Members of the House of Commons
and Distinguished Guests,
I am happy to come to Ottawa, this beautiful and immaculate capital of Canada, and to visit this Parliament Building, whose splendour is known to the world. I am particularly gratified to be granted this opportunity of addressing my dear friends in the Canadian Parliament on the very first day of your 1986 session. I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to Prime Minister Mulroney, Speaker Charbonneau, Speaker Bosley and all those concerned for their thoughtfulness. I wish also to thank the government and people of Canada for the very warm welcome and the courtesies extended to myself and my party since our arrival in Canada.
As I flew into Toronto yesterday, I saw vast stretches of land frozen by the bitter cold and covered by silvery-white snow. I was struck by the thought that only those who endure the rigorous challenges of Nature can reap her rich rewards. Endurance is a true mark of courage. I salute and pay my deep respect to the generations of courageous Canadians who toiled to build this nation, and have carried on with the task to make it what it is today.
I am further struck by the tolerance and understanding of Canadians towards multiculturalism, and their compassion and support for the handicapped. Many refugees who have unfortunately been driven out of their homelands in various parts of the world are choosing Canada as their final place to settle, and Canada is accepting them. This is testimony that the peoples of the world view Canada with respect, affection and gratitude, as a nation with a warm heart and humanitarian spirit, which does not discriminate among human beings.
On this valued occasion of addressing the representatives of the Canadian people, I should like to speak on Japan's position and the basic elements of its policies towards the world. I should further like to state my views on how Japan and Canada can cooperate for their own progress and that of the world, as we move on to the twenty-first century, now only fifteen years away.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The basis of Japan's world policy is to seek its peace and prosperity in the attainment of world peace and prosperity. As we put this into practice, we attach the highest importance to strengthening solidarity among the free nations of the world with whom we share common values.
After the end of World War II, the Japanese people, with deep remorse for the past, vowed to pursue peace as their national objective, and set about rebuilding their homeland, guided by the stars of freedom and democracy.
Forty years later, Japan has arrived where it is today, exceeding our expectations of ourselves. In the meantime, there have been major changes in the situation both at home and abroad. The international community is asking Japan to make a contribution commensurate with the expanded influence it now exercises. For Japan which has for long enjoyed the benefits of world peace and prosperity, and of freedom and democracy, it has now become a national mission to respond positively to the call of the international community, and to exert its energies towards the happiness of mankind. Japan's aspiration to work towards world peace and prosperity, on the basis of enhanced solidarity with the free nations of the world, is thus rooted in the very heart of the Japanese people.
With these thoughts in mind, let me enumerate what I consider to be the main points of Japan's world policy.
The first is the promotion of peace anti disarmament.
Since mankind first appeared on this earth several million years ago, history has been a constant struggle--a struggle to secure untroubled survival for mankind. It remains a fact, however, that in this age of highly developed human wisdom, the world is still torn by elements of unreason which threaten billions of lives. We owe it to our posterity to strive to eliminate these elements.
The largest single element of unreason is nuclear weapons. Except at the time of the Flood and Noah's Ark, mankind has never before been faced with such a threat of being totally and instantaneously wiped out. Whether mankind has the wisdom to eliminate by its own hands what is of its own making--this is the unprecedented test to which Clio, the Muse of History, is subjecting mankind.
As the only nation ever to have experienced the devastation of nuclear weapons, Japan has steadfastly maintained its three non-nuclear principles, and has been calling at every opportunity for the elimination of nuclear weapons. As a means of achieving this, we have advocated that the superpowers reduce these weapons drastically while maintaining a proper balance. We have also made proposals for arms control and disarmament, including a step-by-step formula for steadily reducing the size of nuclear tests, with a view to achieving a comprehensive test ban.
I have felt it essential that the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union meet and talk in order to promote peace and disarmament, and have been calling upon President Reagan, General Secretary Gorbachev and others concerned to do so. Fortunately, the two leaders met last autumn in the first U.S.-Soviet Summit to take place in six and a half years. This meeting is only the start of a process, and does not in itself warrant undue optimism. But it is true that we have seen the first ray of hope shine on these daunting problems. For my own part, I strongly hope that the two leaders respond to the ardent wishes of the peoples of the world, and continue to negotiate with sincerity and patience until they can achieve the desired results.
The regional conflicts raging in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Central America, and elsewhere should also be important matters of our concern. These conflicts not only affect the lives and safety of those who live in these areas, but also, if escalated, may trigger a major war involving nuclear weapons. Japan has thus been working hard to devise ways of creating a climate conducive to the early resolution of these conflicts, as well as to the prevention of their escalation.
The increase in the stockpile of nuclear weapons and the eruption of regional conflicts are both attributable, in the final analysis, to distrust between the parties involved.
Therefore, the key to the resolution of these issues lies in bringing the parties around, through better mutual understanding, to mutual trust. Indirect as it may seem, efforts have to be made over time to create opportunities for deeper mutual understanding, to eliminate mutual distrust gradually, and to attain mutual trust. Japan views the United Nations and other international organizations as important for such efforts, and intends to exert its efforts to revitalize the functions of these organizations.
I note that Canada, on its part, has attached great importance to the activities of these international organizations, and has been taking the lead inactively promoting them. The people of Japan have never forgotten the very great help Canada extended to Japan in the postwar years, as we returned to the international community and joined these international organizations.
The second point of our world policy is to strengthen the solidarity among the free nations of the world.
The global political and economic situation has undergone major changes between the end of World War II and today. However, there has been no change whatsoever in the supremacy and legitimacy of freedom and democracy and in our pursuit of these cultural and political values.
Recognizing this, Japan has established as fundamental policy the maintenance of our peaceful and stable society on the basis of political and economic cooperation and solidarity among the countries of North America, Western Europe and Japan, which share common values. Together, these three regions account for half of the world's economic production. We form the backbone of the Free World. Today, as the world is beset politically and economically with increasingly complex difficulties, it is all the more essential that we maintain our trilateral cooperation and unity among the three regions. We need this in order to cope effectively with the problems confronting us, such as promotion of peace and disarmament, revitalization of the world economy, and meeting the problems of the developing countries.
The seven-nation Summit Meeting of industrialized democracies is an important forum for our trilateral cooperation. Japan is determined to continue to contribute as positively as it can to our trilateral solidarity while placing our main emphasis on the Summit.
The third point of our policy concerns development and prosperity.
The post-war development of the world economy has brought a multitude of blessings to the peoples of the world, the foremost being the improvement of welfare. We must push further forward with economic progress, responding thereby to the ever-growing needs of the peoples around the world. What is most acutely needed today to achieve this objective is defense of the free trade system. Yet, free trade is as fragile as glass, and the rising tide of protectionism in recent years gives us cause for deep concern. If left unchecked, the protectionist tendencies might even lead to the collapse of the economic order we enjoy today.
To defend and promote free trade, Japan has been implementing a series of programmes to increase market access, including the reduction or elimination of tariffs, without seeking reciprocal action by our trading partners. These initiatives are aimed at achieving a degree of market openness unparalleled elsewhere. At the same time, we are redoubling our efforts for the promotion of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations within the GATT framework. I intend to join hands and march forward with Canada, which shares our belief in free trade, as we forcefully promote the new round.
It is argued that there is no way to avoid the pitfalls of protectionism other than to vitalize domestic industries and improve their competitiveness. Structural changes in our industrial and economic fabric would be especially conducive to defending free trade. These changes may be brought about through the promotion of scientific and technological innovations that may attract private sector vitality, and by the ensuing transfers of technology and structural adjustment. On the part of Japan, we are taking bold steps to expand domestic demand, and are also in the process of tackling fundamental adjustments in our domestic economic structure, in the interest of international harmony.
In the world economy as a whole, the advanced industrial countries and the developing countries are the two wheels, without either of which we cannot drive forward to achieve further development. This is why cooperation with developing countries to advance their economies and their welfare constitutes one of the important objectives of Japan's national policy. In this regard, I pay homage to the fact that Canada started its assistance to developing countries as early as 1950. For my own part, I have advocated ever since my assumption of office as Prime Minister that there can be no prosperity for the North without prosperity for the South, and have appealed for greater assistance towards the developing world. Japan has already planned and implemented two consecutive programmes to double its Official Development Assistance (ODA). On the heels of the successful attainment of these goals, we have recently decided, despite stringent budgetary conditions, upon a new set of policy goals with the twin objectives of raising the total amount of our ODA for the seven years 1986 through 1992 to over $40 billion, and of making the disbursement level for 1992 double that for 1985. This new programme will enable Japan to continue to expand its ODA, which today ranks in value second only to the United States among the free nations of the world.
I should add that what is noteworthy about the developing world these days is that we are increasingly required to fine-tune our assistance to meet the varying needs that reflect different conditions and stages of development in each country. Japan attaches particular importance to cooperation in human resources development, assigning priority to dispatching experts and Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, and accepting trainees in Japanese companies.
Ladies and gentlemen,
With these policies of Japan in mind, I should like next to state my views on future cooperation between Japan and Canada.
Thirty years ago, in 1955, I visited Canada as a member of the Japanese Diet. I saw industrial facilities in Ontario and Quebec, as well as the innovative heavy water reactor at Chalk River. I was struck and amazed by the high level of your industrial technologies, and entertained great hopes for the expansion of economic interchanges between our two countries.
Since then, Japan and Canada have succeeded in expanding the value of their two-way trade by about 100 times, due, in part, to our mutually complementary trade structure. Further, our bilateral economic interchanges have continued to intensify in a broad range of areas including investment and industrial cooperation. Today, each of us is indispensable to the other.
However, we should not be content with a relationship based merely on economic complementarity. I believe that we, the free nations of the world, should aim at building a world where nations, unfettered by the parochial interests of each or by the walls between states, exchange freely, help one another, highly respect each other's cultural value, and prosper together. That will be a world of true interdependence.
In this context, I note with keen interest Canada's unique role in the international arena.
Canada has not just reacted passively to superpower politics, but, taking full advantage of its self-defined role as a "middle power," is contributing actively to the building of peace as an international mediator, or as a quiet but effective negotiater. This course of foreign policy chosen by Canada has amply demonstrated that any nation should, and can, play a valuable role appropriate to its characteristics in international politics. You have thus encouraged many nations of the world and have also made them aware of their respective responsibilities. Your contribution in this regard has indeed been immense.
Japan, for its part, is playing its own role in the international community through the world policies I have outlined, and is exploring new way of contributing. In this context, I propose that Japan and Canada consult and cooperate even more seriously on such problems as world peace and disarmament and on our policies to achieve prosperity in the developing countries.
With the Tokyo Summit in May and the expected start of the new round of multilateral trade negotiations in September, 1986 is an important year for the international community, which may determine whether we can expect a sustained growth in world trade and economy. It is also an important year in the sense that we shall see whether progress can be made toward world peace and disarmament through the second summit meeting between the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union. For these endeavours to succeed cooperation and unity among the free nations of the world are essential. It is indeed significant that the exchange of visits between Prime Minister Mulroney and myself is taking place in 1986, a year which may well determine our course toward the twenty-first century.
Let us together set the basic agenda for Japan-Canada cooperation and start our joint actions on global issues, so we can develop our partnership in breadth and depth into a truly mature one.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Located in a corner of the galactic system and inhabited by six billion people, our planet Earth now enjoys a most advanced material civilization. At the same time, however, our planet is exposed to the most barbaric attacks since its creation. Limited fossil resources have been exploited nearly to the point of depletion; green tracts of land are rapidly being reduced to deserts; clean air and water are being contaminated with toxic materials; and rare species of animals are being forced to the varge of extinction. Furthermore, many human-beings are being driven to starvation. And, tens of thousands of nuclear war-heads are threatening the annihilation of all living creatures on earth. If left unchecked, these marciless waves may doom our spaceship Earth to a lifeless wreckage.
Out of my grave concern for the fate of our planet, I made the following appeal in my address at the commemorative session of the 40th anniversary of the United Nations last autumn: "If we are to preserve our irreplaceable Earth and ensure the survival of mankind, I believe we must create a new global ethic and devise systems to support it."
We must now rid ourselves of arrogance toward Mother Nature. Japan's traditional religion teaches us that Nature is the mother of all creatures, and all living things are essentially brothers and sisters in the natural universe. Such philosophy is not exclusively that of the Orient but can also be found on other continents. Needless to say, I am not suggesting that religions unique to different peoples should be united under one great Oriental theology. Instead, I submit that it is perhaps high time for us to redirect our thinking towards the basic feelings of awe, intimacy, respect and love towards nature, which mankind has had over the millenia, and to appreciate afresh what they mean to us today.
When such reorientation has started on a global scale, what I call the grand enterprise of establishing a new global ethic will have begun. The groundwork for this significant enterprise needs to be laid through promoting mutual understanding, not just among nations, but also among peoples and cultures, and through fostering mutual appreciation and respect based on such understanding. We should spare no effort in this regard.
I believe the current of history is steadily heading us in the desired direction. There are two major civilizations represented in the world today, the Occidental and the Oriental civilizations. They both emerged on the Eurasian continent. One grew and matured in the Atlantic region, and has reached the eastern edge of the Pacific Ocean on the American continent. The other has already reached the stage of maturity on the western edge of the Pacific. In historical terms, it is only a matter of time until the two civilizations converge, and are joined in a ring. When these two civilizations of the West and East are brought together, our planet Earth will become a full and true "globe," marking another important stage in world history, and emitting an unprecedented glow. Then all living creatures on earth will enjoy the supreme bliss of their existence.
This convergence of the different civilizations of the East and West is no easy task. There will be difficulties and barriers in the process. But I am convinced that they will be overcome.
I believe this because history has shown that different civilizations attract each other, and come closer together, just as in physics positive electric charges repulse each other but positive and negative charges attract each other. I believe that, in the twenty-first century, the Pacific Ocean will be a grand and romantic stage for enactment of the great drama of creating a new world civilization through the convergence of two civilizations.
Japan is a part of Asia and shares many common values with Western civilization; Canada, which has close historical links to Europe and the United States and diverse cultures within the nation, is looking increasingly toward the Pacific in recent years. Our two nations must play out together our important roles as main actors in this drama.
Let me, in closing, express my fervent hope that the everlasting friendship and cooperation between Japan and Canada will bear abundant fruit for the future of our planet Earth.
Thank you very much.
Peace and Prosperity in Asia
- Toward a Creative Partnership -
Statement by H.E. Mr. Shintaro Abe,
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
at the Japan-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting
In Manila, on June 26, 1986
Your Excellency Foreign Minister Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen,
Distinguished ASEAN Foreign Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am most grateful to H.E. Mr. Rithauddeen for his kind words of welcome for me.
Four years have passed since my appointment as Foreign Minister and this is the fourth time for me to attend the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference.
It is always a great pleasure for me to meet with the distinguished colleagues from the ASEAN countries.
The relations between Japan and the countries of Asia including the ASEAN countries have witnessed steady progress. As the one directly responsible for Japan's foreign relations, I am very pleased with this development.
(Assessment of the Asian Situation)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our Asia has distinguished itself over the past two decades with its remarkable economic development. The countries in East Asia have made strides in economic progress and increased political stability to a degree unknown in other developing areas. In particular, ASEAN countries, by promoting intra-regional cooperation, have been successful in raising the resilience of individual member countries and of the group as a whole. The ASEAN's achievement in economic development deserves special mention as a model case in the industrialization of developing countries.
East Asia, encompassing many countries which have realized dynamic economic growth, has now become one of the greatest sources of vitality sustaining the world economy. Asia's success has historical significance in that it has given bright hope for the objective of economic development, a common aspiration of people around the world.
As an Asian, I take personal pride in this success.
The Asian countries are steadily increasing their role in the international political arena as well. Their basic orientations are firmly for peace and they are actively working to secure peace in the region. They aspire for a sustained peaceful international environment so that they can better concentrate on their most important domestic political task of promoting economic development and raising people's standards of living.
The untiring peace efforts of the ASEAN countries concerning the Cambodian problem, the moves toward North-South dialogue on the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Southwest Asia; all these should be viewed as part of a broader current of self-reliant efforts of Asia to secure peace.
I attach great importance to the historic implication and potential of this new trend in Asia.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Asia's voyage, however, will not always be blessed by favorable winds. Its economy is now facing a serious trial. Politically, an early solution to the Cambodian problem is not easily foreseen and tension continues in other parts of the region as well.
Particularly since the turn of the decade, many Asian countries have been facing the slowdown of economic growth or, at worst, even negative growth. This has been caused by such developments as deceleration in the growth of the developed economies, deteriorating primary commodity prices, and protectionist trends. Japan has itself experienced the growing pains as a developing country in the not so distant past, and can easily understand how trying economic stagnation can be to developing countries, and what serious implications it has beyond the economic realm, with social and even political consequences.
The state of affairs in Asia today leads me to believe that the Asian countries are now at an historical turning point in the course of their development. In other words, the recent slowdown in economic growth of many Asian countries signifies that they have completed a certain stage of development and are at a point of transition preparing for the next stage yet higher.
It is with these ideas that I have come to Manila.
Analyzing and evaluating past history is perhaps a task for historians, but it is up to us statesmen acutely to discern an historical turning point, to seize it as an opportunity, and provide the proper response in anticipation of the future to come. It is then of great significance for both ASEAN and Japan that we are gathered here at this Conference against this historic background. I hope that, on this occasion, we, my distinguished colleagues and friends from ASEAN and myself, will take a greater stride forward for grappling creatively with this historic task, and thus strengthen the creative partnership between Japan and ASEAN for building peace and prosperity in Asia.
Our Asia is endowed with a vast domain, abundant natural resources, and, most important of all, excellent human resources. There is immeasurable potential for further development toward the fast approaching 21st century and the future beyond.
The challenges before us may be difficult, but I am confident that no problems will be too difficult to solve once we summon the wisdom of Asia.
(Japan's Asian Policy)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am convinced that consistency and adaptability are both essential in foreign policy. Consistency in the foreign policy of a country, so long as it is justifiable, will win the trust of the other party and the international community as a whole. However, consistency must not mean inflexibility and it should allow for adaptability enabling a country to respond effectively to different situations as they arise. Japan's fundamental policy toward Asia has been a consistent one, as it has been made clear on many occasions. I will therefore not try to add any new precepts but identify the course of action Japan should pursue at this historic turning point in Asia, on the basis of this established policy.
The first pillar of Japan's Asian policy is "Japan's contribution as a country committed to peace." It is Japan's basic, consistent policy stance and the firm determination of the Japanese people to observe the lessons of history and never again become a military power. Therefore, Japan will continue to reject a military role for itself in Asia. Indeed, it is my conviction that one of the major avenues for Japan to contribute to peace and prosperity in Asia is to steadfastly maintain its commitment to peace and utilize its capabilities solely for non-military purposes. This means that Japan will not be satisfied with pursuing peace merely for itself, but will make active contributions, together with ASEAN and other peace-loving nations, to such efforts as peaceful settlement of conflicts, relaxation of tensions and promotion of dialogue.
It goes without saying that the earliest possible settlement of the Cambodian problem is a prerequisite for establishing lasting peace in Southeast Asia. I have already expressed in detail Japan's views and policy regarding this issue in the Post-Ministerial Conference. Japan will continue its forceful support of the efforts the ASEAN countries have taken on to themselves for the peaceful settlement of the problem. It will also continue to make active contribution to engendering an environment conducive to peace by promoting dialogue with the countries concerned including Vietnam.
The second pillar of Japan's Asian policy is "promotion of mutual understanding through continuous dialogue and heart-to-heart exchange for the establishment of mutual trust."
For this purpose there is a strong need to deepen mutual understanding at a popular level between Japan and the Asian countries including those of ASEAN. Japan has already been making such efforts as to mutually strengthen facilities for language education, expand exchange programs for our youth, who will be at the forefront of the next generation, and to promote area studies and better appreciation of respective cultures on both sides. In this connection, I am appreciative of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' favorable reference in their communique to the satisfactory progress made in these fields. We will continue to vigorously expand and strengthen such activities.
Today, when Asia is at an historical turning point and faces unprecedented, difficult problems, Japan and the ASEAN countries need positively to pursue dialogue and exchange in a broad range so that we may better understand each other's problems and views, become bosom friends, and use our creative imagination together to find a path to future prosperity. Therefore, I wish to stress the importance of deepening and expanding exchanges, as well as continuous dialogue, between Japan and the ASEAN countries.
The third pillar of Japan's Asian Policy is "establishment of a cooperative relationship between Japan and ASEAN capable of effective response to a changing environment."
As I stated at the outset, many of the Asian countries including the ASEAN states are confronted with serious economic difficulties as reflected in sluggish exports and the shortage of funds for economic development, owing particularly to the slower growth in the developed economies and the fall in primary commodity prices.
This situation represents a major challenge for developing countries and is the most important problem requiring urgent solution.
The manner in which the ASEAN countries tackle this problem could affect their long-term development strategy for the future and, further, have certain bearing on their resilience as nations.
Therefore, Japan wishes to extend actively its cooperation to the ASEAN countries to support their efforts to overcome these difficulties as their partner in Asia.
In order to make certain that Japan can extend "sincere and truly effective cooperation", there is an urgent need for the ASEAN countries to take the initiative in formulating a development program attuned to the changing environment and for Japan and the ASEAN countries to establish, through continuous dialogue, a cooperative framework which will ensure flexible and prompt response to the true needs and changing circumstances of ASEAN.
In the Third Medium Term Target for ODA (Official Development Assistance) Expansion starting from this year, Japan will continue to regard the ASEAN countries as its most important partners and will pursue cooperation with them in the spirit I have just described.
To elaborate on our economic cooperation to the ASEAN countries, I wish to take up a few specific points.
The first point is the question of local cost financing. Japan is prepared to consider making ODA loans available for local cost financing as well, taking into account the situation in each of the ASEAN countries which require such financing, and in line with our basic principle of assisting the self-help efforts of the recipient countries.
Secondly, while the emphasis is on project aid, Japan will also consider diversifying the forms of its economic cooperation with a view to assisting specific policy objectives or comprehensive development programs in the developing countries.
My third point concerns technical cooperation and its diversification. Being responsive to the current needs of the ASEAN countries, Japan intends to place added emphasis on technical cooperation programs in coordination with financial assistance as necessary, in such areas as integrated assistance for export promotion through product quality and testing capability improvement, investment promotion through the organization of symposia and the dispatching of advisors, and cooperation in the field of high technology. It will also strengthen cooperation in what might be called the "soft-oriented approach" by assisting in the creation of an environment which will facilitate technical transfer by the Japanese private sector which possesses valuable know-how.
There has been increased interest among the Japanese general public in the way economic assistance is utilized as we must contend with very serious fiscal difficulties. I believe this is also the case in the ASEAN countries as well. Under these circumstances, it is imperative for us to ensure the proper, effective and efficient implementation of our economic assistance by promoting increased cooperation with the ASEAN countries to strengthen policy dialogue and improve prior surveys and subsequent evaluation.
Trade is another important area for Japan-ASEAN economic cooperation.
The promotion of exports will continue to be extremely important for the economic development of the ASEAN countries. For this reason, Japan carefully considered their concerns when it decided last year on the Action Program for improved access to the Japanese market, covering both tariff and non-tariff areas. I hope these efforts, along with such factors as the recent appreciation of the Yen, will lead to increased ASEAN exports to Japan.
Both Japan and ASEAN share an interest in stemming protectionist pressures and maintaining anti strengthening the free trade system. Therefore, Japan wishes to join forces with the ASEAN countries to promote the GATT New Round.
For ASEAN to increase its exports, it needs to reorient the traditional export structure, dependent on primary commodities, by diversifying the product range of exports. While hoping the ASEAN countries will achieve fruitful results from their efforts already in progress in this area. Japan is prepared to extend all possible support to them in their endeavors. Moreover, the further promotion of ASEAN exports of manufactured goods to Japan must be pursued within a wider and historic framework. It must be carried out in the context of transforming economic structures of both Japan and ASEAN and against the background of global economic structural adjustment. In this connection, I welcome the recent developments in some of the ASEAN countries in approaching the task of structural adjustment in a comprehensive manner. I am also encouraged by the increased interest taken by Japanese firms in establishing their plants abroad in view of the recent appreciation of the Yen.
I believe that investment and technology transfers from Japan will play an increasingly important role in effecting such structural adjustment and raising the ASEAN economies to a higher level. Again, Japan is resolved to strengthen its cooperation to help achieve an environment which will facilitate Japanese investment and technology transfer to the ASEAN countries and looks forward to efforts on their part for the same objective.
Particularly as the private sector plays a major role in this area, close coordination between the government and the private sector is essential to the cooperation between Japan and the ASEAN countries. There was a common recognition on this point in the Japan-ASEAN Economic Ministerial Conference held in Tokyo last year. I wish to underline the need for government-private sector cooperation and recommend that the government and the private sector in both Japan and the ASEAN countries intensify their consultations at various levels, and also create more systematic links between various avenues of contacts.
At the same time, Japan is determined to continue to support the initiative of the ASEAN countries in pursuing intra-regional cooperation and extend its cooperation in this area.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As I expressed earlier, Asia is now at an historical turning point, particularly with regard to economic development. ASEAN and other countries of Asia are confronted with difficult tasks of extreme urgency. This very hour of difficulty should rather be seen as an opportunity for us to display our creative imagination to reach for a higher stage of development.
Our Asia has tremendous potentials. We have inherited the profound wisdom and rich diversity in culture and tradition from our forefathers. Creative concepts and sweeping changes in patterns of thought are most likely to emerge from diversity. From this diversity will be born a new wisdom relevant not only to Asia but to the world as a whole.
Now is the time, when Asia is facing a difficult, uncharted course, that ASEAN and Japan should strengthen their creative partnership and muster their wisdom to realize the peace and prosperity of Asia.
I am confident that through our efforts, a brightest future will dawn upon us.
Statement by His Excellency Mr. Tadashi Kuranari,
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan,
at the 41st Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
(September 23, 1986)
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, distinguished delegates,
I should like first, on behalf of the Government and people of Japan, to express my sincere congratulations to Your Excellency on your election to the presidency of this 41st Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I am certain that this Session will be a truly fruitful one, benefiting immensely from your rich experience, keen insight and decisiveness, as it deals with the many difficult problems before it. As a fellow Asian, I assure you that the delegation of Japan will cooperate in every possible way to help you in carrying out your important duties.
At the same time, I must express our sincere appreciation to the President of the 40th Session of the General Assembly, His Excellency Mr. Jaime de Pinies, for the excellent manner in which he has discharged his responsibilities. Likewise, I should like to take this opportunity to pay high tribute to the Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, who has been working tirelessly to resolve numerous international problems, and in so doing has travelled to all corners of the world.
Before beginning my formal remarks today, I should like to express Japan's heartfelt sympathies to the people of Cameroon, particularly those who have suffered as a result of the toxic gas released from Lake Nios. Itself a country of many volcanos, Japan immediately dispatched a survey team to see what could be done to alleviate suffering and to prevent similar incidents in the future. Japan stands ready to consider additional relief assistance as necessary.
I should also like to express our sincere sympathies to the many people who are suffering as a result of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union last April. This accident has served to highlight anew the very serious international responsibilities of all countries that use nuclear energy, and in this context I wish to commend the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has expeditiously drawn up draft conventions for dealing with future accidents of a similar nature.
On the occasion of the commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the United Nations last year, distinguished delegates from around the globe spoke to the world from this podium of the founding principles of the United Nations, its raison d'etre, and its problems. Having weathered four decades, the United Nations became the focus of renewed attention from all quarters.
The major theme of the deliberations last year was a reaffirmation of the United Nations' increasingly important role in the search for world peace and prosperity. As was suggested by Prime Minister Nakasone, the United Nations is the perfect vehicle for promoting mutual appreciation and respect among the various cultures of the world and for building a new anti harmonious civilization for the 21st century.
Yet concern has been expressed that the United Nations might suffer functional paralysis should it fail to promptly achieve the reforms necessary to rectify the very serious administrative and financial situation, caused in part by organizational over-expansion.
At the Fortieth Session of the General Assembly my predecessor, Foreign Minister Abe, squarely addressed this problem and proposed that a group of eminent persons be established in an effort to revitalize the organization and functions of the United Nations. This proposal was based on our conviction that the United Nations is essential to the entire international community, including, of course, my own country, and was an expression of Japan's steadfast support for this indispensable world Organization.
Happily, Foreign Minister Abe's proposal was accepted by the Member States, and the eighteen-member Group of High-level Intergovernmental Experts was established. Bringing to their work superior wisdom, rich experience, and a thorough knowledge of the acute problems facing the United Nations, this Group has labored intensively to produce the report it recently submitted to the Secretary-General. None of the similar efforts to reform the United Nations in the past has produced as comprehensive and constructive a report as the one submitted by this Group. I wish to pay my sincere tribute to all the members of this Group. The determination and vigour with which they accomplished their task are, indeed, the very attributes needed for the revitalization of this Organization.
The Group's report contains many constructive recommendations for making the United Nations a more efficient organization, and I wholeheartedly support them. I very much hope that at this 41st Session the Assembly will consider these recommendations and that they will be implemented as soon as possible with the support of all Member States. The United Nations should then be able to regain the trust of all the peoples of the world, gain the ability to respond promptly and effectively to any situation that may arise, and in this way serve as a model for all the bodies within the United Nations system.
What, then, should the United Nations do when it has begun to function more effectively and efficiently? What should be done in order to eliminate conflicts and famine, and to eradicate terrorism which has recently claimed so many victims, so that ordinary people throughout the world may live a peaceful and prosperous life, free from anxiety?
What the world today expects of the United Nations is first, the maintenance of international peace and security, and second, international cooperation for economic, social, and cultural development. But as we discuss these issues it is impossible not to address also the question of disarmament.
If you will allow me to interject a personal note, I was born and raised in the city of Nagasaki in southwest Japan. Nagasaki was well known as Japan's only foreign trade port during its two anti a half centuries of national seclusion, from the 17th to the 19th century. In the final days of World War II, Nagasaki again became famous as the only other city besides Hiroshima to have been the target of an atomic bomb.
Returning home soon after the war's end, I was confronted with the rubble that was once Nagasaki and with the misery of its people. I joined the government of the city in order to put all of my energies into rebuilding it. At the same time, having witnessed the effect of this awesome weapon, I began to give serious thought, not only as a public servant but also as a concerned individual, to the question of how to maintain peace in the nuclear age and how to deliver mankind from the nuclear threat. When I think about the destruction wrought by nuclear weapons, I am unshakable in my conviction: all nuclear weapons must be abolished.
Voicing such a belief is easy. Today's world would be very different if statements or declarations in and of themselves could bring about true peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons. What is important are deeds. However modest, concrete and steady action alone can contribute to peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons.
The nuclear superpowers have especially grave responsibilities in this effort to save mankind from the nuclear threat. President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at their summit meeting last November agreed that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. Before concrete actions to reduce nuclear weapons can be taken, it is necessary to establish relations of mutual political trust between the states concerned. The East-West political dialogue, with impetus from last year's US-Soviet summit, has begun to be held at a higher level and with greater frequency, and this is an important first step toward the establishment of such mutual trust. It has become a major responsibility of all countries participating in the East-West political dialogue, including Japan, to ensure that it bears fruit.
For every country, the issue of disarmament, including nuclear disarmament, is inextricably linked to its own security. Thus we must bear in mind that any special proposal for nuclear disarmament which does not give due consideration to the security interests of other parties would be counterproductive and undermine mutual trust.
Moreover, we believe that a satisfactory system of verification must be established to ensure compliance with disarmament and arms control agreements, and to strengthen relations of mutual trust. My country, in its efforts to achieve a comprehensive nuclear test ban, has proposed a step-by-step approach to the establishment of an effective verification system. Following upon this proposal, Japan proposed at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva last April that more detailed seismic data be exchanged in order to enhance verification capabilities, and interested countries will begin doing so on an experimental basis this December. I hope that these efforts will greatly contribute to the goal of a comprehensive nuclear test ban.
Dealing with the nuclear problem, we must face the reality that the existing nuclear balance works as a deterrent. It is therefore necessary, while continuing the dialogue to build up mutual trust, to make steadfast efforts to gradually reduce nuclear stockpiles without upsetting a proper balance. I am convinced that this is the only way we can hope to abolish ultimately all nuclear weapons and ensure that the people of Nagasaki will be the last to experience the horror of a nuclear attack.
In view of the especially grave responsibilities of the two nuclear superpowers on this issue of peace and disarmament, I sincerely hope that the United States and the Soviet Union will hold a second summit meeting soon, as agreed last November, and that major progress will be made toward resolving the various issues between them, including that of nuclear disarmament and arms control.
We should also like to see a redoubling of international efforts at the United Nations, at the Conference on Disarmament and elsewhere to reach concrete agreement in the field of disarmament, including especially a comprehensive nuclear test ban and a ban on the use of chemical weapons. We should strive also to preserve and strengthen the regime of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. I renew my pledge that Japan will contribute actively to such efforts in these forums, including this General Assembly Session.
Having stated Japan's basic position on the issue of disarmament in general, I must here say a few words about the SS-20s that the Soviet Union has deployed in Asia. Japan very strongly hopes that the INF negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union will deal with SS-20s on a global basis and lead to their total elimination, both in Asia and in Europe.
While Japan has long hoped to establish stable relations based upon mutual understanding with its important neighbor, the Soviet Union, it is essential first to resolve the territorial issue still pending since World War II and to conclude a peace treaty embodying this settlement. I am confident that resolving this territorial issue will contribute significantly to peace and stability in the Far East and all of Asia.
Along with the issue of disarmament, the question of how to resolve regional problems and local conflicts has an important bearing on the issue of world peace. While the primary goal of the United Nations is the maintenance of international peace and security, there have been over 150 local conflicts since its founding, many of which still continue without any sign of abatement.
I should like to turn now to some of the regional problems that confront the international community, and Japan's policy regarding them.
One of the most urgent among these is how to induce the Government of South Africa to abandon its policy of apartheid. This is an issue on which the entire international community must focus its attention.
Barring the vast majority of the South African people from participating in the political process and subjecting them to numerous other forms of discrimination simply because of the color of their skin, apartheid is absolutely intolerable to all who share mankind's ideal of respect for human rights. I am gravely concerned that the situation in South Africa is quickly deteriorating because its Government not only persists in practicing apartheid but has taken to such reprehensible acts as attacking neighboring countries, and has declared a state of emergency throughout its territory. The situation in South Africa must be resolved by peaceful means, and it is imperative that all parties concerned make every effort to avoid further bloodshed.
The Government of South Africa has recently announced a series of reform measures, but regrettably these are not the basic reforms needed to effect the abolition of apartheid. Japan has availed itself of every opportunity to strongly urge the Government of South Africa to have the courage to take decisive political actions to promptly abolish apartheid, free Nelson Mandela, legalize the ANC and other political organizations, and enter into discussions with black leaders.
Japan maintains no diplomatic relations with South Africa, limiting its relations to the consular level. It has imposed restrictions on relations with that country in a wide range of fields. For example, Japan prohibits direct investment; it prohibits the export of weapons and computers; it has adopted trade restrictions such as those on the import of South African gold coins; and it severely restricts sports and cultural contacts. On 19 September my Government announced its decision to take additional steps until such time as the Government of South Africa announces clear and specific measures to abolish apartheid. These include a prohibition on the import of iron and steel, restrictions on tourist travel between Japan and South Africa, the continuation of the suspension of air links with South Africa, and a prohibition on the use of international flights of South African Airways by government officials.
While taking these measures against South Africa, Japan intends to step up its economic cooperation with other countries in the region which may encounter economic difficulties as a result of developments in South Africa. Japan will also expand and strengthen its cooperative efforts to enhance the status of South Africa's black population.
At the same time, Japan deplores South Africa's illegal occupation of Namibia, and we believe this illegal situation must be ended as soon as possible. Namibian independence should be achieved in full accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions 385 and 435, which constitute the only acceptable basis for a peaceful, just and enduring settlement. Japan hopes that elections for independence will be held under United Nations supervision and that the day will soon come when we will be able to welcome Namibia to United Nations membership.
As for the situation in Afghanistan, Japan strongly appeals to the countries concerned to come to an agreement through positive cooperation with the good offices of the United Nations, for the prompt withdrawal of all Soviet military forces, the restoration of the Afghan people's right to self-determination, and a safe and honorable return for the refugees. In this connection we support the efforts of the Secretary-Geneal in the proximity talks for the resolution of this problem.
It is likewise most regrettable that the situation between Iran and Iraq remains tense, with hostilities between them continuing and even showing signs of intensifying and posing a major hazard to shipping in the Gulf. I appreciate the efforts made by the Security Council for a peaceful solution to this conflict, and call upon the Council to continue to play a just and more active role. I should also point out once again the need for both Iran and Iraq to respond to these Security Council efforts by appearing before the Council and starting their positions there. I support the efforts of the Secretary-General for a solution to this conflict, and hope a way will be found to open a dialogue between the two parties. Japan intends to continue its efforts in cooperation with like-minded countries to create a climate conducive to peace between Iran and Iraq.
Peace in the Middle East is one of the oldest and most tragic of the problems with which the United Nations has grappled. In order that a just, lasting and comprehensive peace may be achieved in the Middle East, I strongly hope that all of the parties concerned will redouble their efforts for peace. Japan appreciates the sincere efforts of the parties concerned to attain peace, efforts exemplified by the decision to make 1987 the "Year of Negotiations for Peace." I assure you that Japan will also do everything it can to realize peace in the Middle East.
In Central America, Japan hopes that the regional efforts will soon yield a peaceful solution. In this context, we strongly support the efforts of the Contadora Group and other forces for peace in the region.
I find it most deplorable that, despite the resolutions adopted every year by the overwhelming majority of the General Assembly, the situation in Kampuchea remains unresolved and continues to pose a major threat to peace and stability in Asia. Japan has long called for an early and comprehensive political solution of the Kampuchean problem, based on the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops and on the exercise of the right of self-determination by the Kampuchean people. It strongly supports the efforts of the ASEAN countries to this end. At the same time, Japan will continue its dialogue with Vietnam and all of the other countries concerned in an active effort to create a climate conducive to peace in Indochina.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula, just a short stretch of water away from Japan, continues to be tense.
Because this problem is one that should be peacefully resolved primarily through direct talks between North and South Korea, it is unfortunate that North Korea continues to be opposed to the resumption of talks. Japan hopes that substantive dialogue between the two sides will be resumed as soon as possible.
The Xth Asian Games are currently being held in Seoul with the participation of a large number of young people from throughout Asia. Prime Minister Nakasone's attendance at the opening ceremonies is a demonstration of Japan's full support for the Games. Their success, as a prelude to the 1988 Seoul Olympics, is important, we believe, because it will contribute to the stabilization of the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Japan has often indicated that, if both North and South would consider joining the United Nations as a step toward the reunification of the Korean Peninsula, it would welcome and support their membership. This would contribute to relaxing tensions and enhancing the principle of universality of the United Nations. Considering that North and South have already both joined a number of United Nations specialized agencies, I believe the time is ripe for the Organization to admit both North and South as members.
Each of these regional disputes and local conflicts has its own distinct cause, its own complex history, and it would be extremely difficult to solve them all at once. However, the United Nations must by no means remain a by stander. It is true that the United States and the Soviet Union play a major role in the maintenance of international peace and security. This does not mean, however, that these superpowers are the only determining factors and that there is little the United Nations can do.
Just as it would be a mistake to overestimate the ability of the United Nations as a peacekeeper, so would it be wrong to disregard or underestimate its potential as an effective force in this field. In fact, the United Nations has already contributed to preventing and containing conflicts in a number of critical situations.
Japan believes that the peacekeeping role of the United Nations should be strengthened, and in this regard I wish to make two points.
First, it is imperative that all the Member States of the Organization continue to work seriously to revitalize the Security Council. In particular, I appeal strongly to its permanent members to join together to take positive steps to strengthen its functioning anal to fulfill the grave responsibilities that go with their privileges.
Second, we the Member States must reaffirm the role that the United Nations organs can play in the maintenance of peace and security, and seek ways in which each of our roles can be integrated with those of the United Nations. Given the way the Security Council, the General Assembly, and the Secretary-General have contributed to the prevention of conflicts through their fact-finding, informal contacts and good offices, it would seem that the most practical approach to strengthening the United Nations' peacekeeping role would be to enhance these functions.
In this connection, I should like to refer to the working paper on the prevention of conflicts, which Japan and five other Member States prepared in response to the appeals by the Secretary-General, particularly in his annual reports. The working paper, which has been studied for three years by the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations, is aimed at enhancing the role which the main U.N. organ can play within the frame work of the Charter for the purpose of preventing conflicts from arising and eliminating the threat of conflict, thereby promoting the fullest possible use of the peacekeeping functions of the United Nations as a whole. I sincerely hope that this working paper will be adopted as a declaration of the General Assembly as soon as possible. In this way, every Member State would reaffirm the importance of world peace and its own commitment to the role of the United Nations.
It is by no means easy to strengthen the United Nations peacekeeping functions. Yet I would recall here the words of Mr. Cordel Hull, the United States Secretary of State during World War II and a founding father of the United Nations, who said that what this Organization needs is time, perseverance and a spirit of cooperation. It is precisely in these trying times, when the interests of countries are so intertwined, that we must, as suggested by Mr. Hull, seek to make the United Nations not a forum for acrimonious debate but a place where through tenacious effort we can explore, devise and implement solutions to the many problems that confront us.
Along with its peacekeeping functions, the United Nations also has an important role to play in promoting social and economic development worldwide, especially in developing countries. Given that many regional conflicts are sparked by poverty and starvation, it is impossible to overemphasize the importance of this role. The developing countries of Latin America, Asia, Oceania, and Africa and facing severe economic difficulties as a result, for example, of the collapse in commodity prices and their burgeoning external debts, and I am concerned that these difficulties may endanger political stability in these regions. Japan is determined to extend as much assistance as it can to those developing countries as they strive to overcome their economic difficulties.
On the question of multilateral trade negotiations, I am pleased to report that agreement to launch a New Round was reached at the GATT Ministerial Conference held just last week at Punta del Este. Steady expansion of exports is of primary importance for the sound economic growth of developing countries, and I am confident that improvements in the trading environment resulting from progress in this New Round will work to their benefit. As for Japan, we are continuing our positive efforts to further improve market access and to stimulate domestic demand. Our imports of manufactures and other products from developing countries are on the increase, especially with the recent appreciation of the yen, and we intend to step up our efforts for economic structural adjustment and to expand our trade with these countries.
Despite its difficult fiscal straits, Japan has committed itself to disbursing at least $40 billion within the seven year period from 1986 to 1992, and in 1992 to providing double the amount of ODA it extended in 1985, in accordance with its Third Medium-Term Target. This commitment was made in keeping with Japan's policy of actively supporting the self-reliant efforts of developing countries toward economic and social growth and improved standards of living and welfare. Japan stands ready to offer all possible support to ensure that the economic difficulties in developing countries do not seriously hinder their development plans.
In order to ensure that our cooperation with the developing countries' self-reliant efforts is managed properly, effectively, and efficiently, it is imperative that they themselves draw up development plans consistent with changing conditions and their development needs. It is also important that there be in-depth policy dialogue on these development plans, and that arrangements be made to facilitate dynamic cooperation between the donor and recipient countries in a genuine partnership. It will then be possible for Japan and developing countries to draw up asssitance and cooperation programmes best suited to their needs and conditions and establish a genuine partnership between them.
Humanitarian relief assistance to peoples in danger of starvation or suffering from natural disasters is another important part of Japanese official development assistance. Based on our experiences in connection with last year's earthquake in Mexico and the volcanic eruption in Colombia, Japan has strengthened its system for providing overseas emergency relief in order to respond faster and more fully to major natural disasters, including the dispatch of teams of experts, and in addition to extending financial assistance. We shall work to further improve this system. At the same time, Japan has rapidly expanded its assistance to the famine-ravaged countries of Africa in recent years.
The United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development adopted unanimously at the Special Session on Africa last May provided useful medium- anti long-term guidelines for the self-reliant development efforts of African countries and for international support for these efforts. I am particularly encouraged that the members of the Organization for African Unity have expressed their determination to stand on their own feet and overcome Africa's economic difficulties. Taking fully into account this Programme of Action, Japan is determined to contribute positively to Africa's medium- and long-term development by supporting, in particular, efforts to promote agricultural development and to make Africa self-sufficient in foodstuffs. We also very much hope that the constructive and realistic attitudes of all the countries concerned demonstrated at the Special Session on Africa will be followed up in the future North-South dialogue.
Japan has also sought to enhance its voluntary contributions to the UNDP and other programmes for economic and technical cooperation within the United Nations system. As a result, Japan is now the largest or second largest contributor to many of the leading assistance organizations. For the future, we intend to continue our efforts to better coordinate our bilateral cooperation with multilateral programmes such as the UNDP, in order to enhance not only the quantity but also the quality of our assistance. We will do all we can to shape our contributions to the real needs of the recipient countries.
This year commemorates the 30th anniversary of Japan's admission to the United Nations. In the three decades that have passed since then, the Government and people of Japan have consistently sought, in light of our bitter past experiences, to make cooperation with and support for the United Nations a key part of Japan's foreign policy.
We recall that all Member States, upon admission to the United Nations, solemnly pledged to act in conformity with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, accept the duties and responsibilities set forth therein, and use all the means at their command to fulfill these duties and responsibilities. Yet we see today conflicts in many parts of the world that probably could have been averted had the parties rigorously observed these purposes and principles. I should like therefore to appeal most strongly to these countries to remember their vows to the United Nations, to renew their commitment to the Charter principles to resolve their conflicts peacefully, and to direct their energies to the creation of a better world.
In less than fourteen years, we will enter the 21st century. We can either cooperate to bequeath to posterity this United Nations, which is the most universal organization ever created by mankind, or in clammoring for our own interests we can let the Organization crumble like the Tower of Babel. The choice before us is clear.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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