Chapter III. Japan's Relations with Each Country and Region
Section 1. Asia
1. Korean Peninsula
(1) Republic of Korea
(a) Japan's relations with the Republic of Korea have steadily developed since the normalization of the relations in 1965. The two countries now have a good, close relationship where bilateral exchange and cooperation are under way in various areas.
After President Chun Doo Hwan's historic visit to Japan in 1984, Japan and the Republic of Korea have continued high-level talks, including those between their foreign and other ministers, as well as government-to-government working-level consultations, for close exchange of views on bilateral issues, including treatment of Korean residents in Japan, trade imbalance and fishery problems.
Though Japan-ROK relations were affected by the second school textbook problem and Education Minister Masayuki Fujio's controversial remarks in the summer of 1986, Prime Minister Nakasone's attendance at the Asian Games opening ceremony in Seoul demonstrated mature, firm friendship and cooperation.
(b) Prime Minister Nakasone's Attendance at Asian Games
Prime Minister Nakasone visited Seoul on September 20-21, 1986, at the invitation of President Chun to attend the opening ceremony for the Asian Games.
The purpose of Nakasone's visit to Seoul was to give Japan's congratulations and full assistance to the ROK's successful sponsoring of the Asian Games which preceded the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Japan has decided to fully cooperate in the Seoul Olympics as well as the Asian Games. The purpose was fully achieved, demonstrating the close bilateral friendship.
Some events which might affect Japan-ROK relations took place just before Nakasone's visit to Seoul. But the visit amounted eventually to the reaffirmation of the firm bilateral friendship and cooperation.
(c) Regular Japan-ROK Ministerial Conference
The 14th regular Japan-ROK ministerial conference was held in Tokyo on December 5-6, 1986. The conferees had intensive discussions on the Korean Peninsula situation sharing views that the situation was tense and that efforts to relax the tension were required. They also agreed to set up a bilateral "wisemen's group" by 1988 to help build up constructive relations in various areas.
B. Treatment of Korean Residents in Japan
Japan and the ROK held working-level consultations in Tokyo in August 1986 on treatment of Korean residents in Japan. In March 1987, a bilateral working-level meeting on habitation in Japan of the Korean residents' descendants took place in Seoul to deal with third and following generations of Korean residents in Japan.
Japan's exports to the ROK aggregated $10.5 billion and its imports from that country $5.3 billion in 1986. The total two-way trade in the year represented a sharp increase of more than 40% from the previous year. Japan's trade surplus with the ROK also increased fast and developed into one of the major bilateral problems. The two governments discussed the problem at the 19th bilateral trade conference in November 1986, the 14th regular ministerial conference in December and other forums.
D. Industrial Technical Cooperation
Japan has been transferring industrial technologies to the ROK through private-level technical cooperation and direct investment in that country. The Japanese government has also been extending wide-ranging technical assistance to the ROK within the framework of the governmental economic cooperation. The government accepted 139 ROK trainees under its fiscal 1986 training program of ROK engineers. In April 1986,the Japanese government agreed to cooperate in the establishment of an industrial technology training institute to train the ROK's backbone engineers.
E. Science and Technology Cooperation
The Japan-ROK science and technology cooperation committee held its first meeting in Seoul August 4-5, 1986, under the bilateral science and technology cooperation agreement. The committee members agreed to promote cooperation positively in the 24 new specific areas.
F. Fishery Issue
Japan has strongly asked the ROK to stop ROK fishermen's illegal operations in Japan's territorial waters and exclusive fishery zone off western Japan. But such illegal ROK fishing still continues. The 21st Japan-ROK joint fishery committee meeting took place in late March 1987 to deal with also these problems.
The ROK has imposed voluntary restrictions on fishing in waters off Hokkaido since November 1983 and the restrictions were to expire at the end of October 1986. Japan and the ROK held five rounds of working-level talks and two rounds of talks between their Fisheries Agency directors-generals from late July 1986 to deal with the whole bilateral fishery problems including this matter.
But the opinions of the both sides remained so different that Japan and the ROK failed to reach agreement before the October expiration. They eventually extended the ROK restrictions and Japan's voluntary curbs on fishing in waters southwest of Chejudo Island for up to one year, and have continued consultations to solve the problem.
G. Joint Development of the Continental Shelf
Japan and the ROK have implemented test drillings at seven points on the basis of physical prospecting on the Joint Development Zone of the continental shelf adjacent to the two countries. But commercial discovery of oil or natural gas has not been made yet.
H. Takeshima Island Issue
Japan has repeated its protest against the ROK's illegal occupation of Takeshima Island. A Japanese protest was filed on the basis of a survey by a patrol boat of Japan's Maritime Safety Agency in November 1986. Japan has taken up the issue at various meetings with the ROK.
(2) North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
Japan has no diplomatic relations with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. But private-level exchanges are underway in trade, economic, cultural and other areas. Major development in 1986 are as follows:
B. Fishery Relations
An interim private Japan-DPRK fishery agreement on Japanese fishing in waters near the DPRK expired in June 1982 to cause suspension of the Japanese fishing. A similar agreement was reached on October 15, 1984, and the Japanese fishing was resumed. But this agreement expired on December 31, 1986. Private-level negotiations for its extension have been underway since late 1986. But no agreement has been reached yet.
The DPRK released one Japanese fishing boat and its crewmen in April 1986 after its detention. There is no Japanese fishing boat under DPRK detention at present.
C. Personnel Exchange
(a) A total of 1,482 Japanese people visited the DPRK in 1986 for commercial, goodwill exchange and other purposes.
(b) A total of 463 North Koreans visited Japan in the year for commercial, sports and other purposes.
(c) A total of 5,042 North Korean residents in Japan were allowed to visit the DPRK with re-entry permits for meetings with their relatives, academic, cultural and sports exchanges and commercial and other purposes in the same year.
Japan's two-way trade with the DPRK in 1986 declined about 16% from the previous year to $357 million, the lowest since 1978.
E. The Zu-Dan 9082 Incident
Eleven North Koreans aboard the Zu-Dan 9082 arrived at Fukui Port on January 20, 1987. The Japanese government confirmed all the North Koreans' hopes and allowed them to leave for Taiwan on Feburary 7. In dealing with the case the Japanese government made it policy to give humane considerations to them and respect their own hopes under international law and practices. While taking their safety and health into account, the government made utmost efforts to allow them to go to a third country at their request.
Later the Taiwanese authorities confirmed their hopes and allowed them to move to the ROK.
(1) People's Republic of China
The year 1986 saw an active exchange of leaders' visits between Japan and China, which demonstrated the deepness and wideness of bilateral relations. Chinese Foreign Minister Wu Xueqian visited Japan in April for the second Japan-China foreign ministerial conference. Prime Minister Nakasone visited China in November. Visits to China were also made by former Prime Minister Fukuda in April, Health and Welfare Minister Isamu Imai in May, supreme adviser to the Liberal-Democratic Party Susumu Nikaido in August, chairman of the Komeito Yoshikatsu Takeiri in the same month, and LDP Secretary-General Noboru Takeshita in January 1987. Chinese visitors to Japan included Forestry Minister Yang Zhong in April, People's Liberation Army Deputy Chief-of-General Staff Xu Xin in June and Vice Premier Tian Jiyun in January 1987, as well as Foreign Minister Wu.
Prime Minister Nakasone visited China in November 1986 for the first time in two years and a half to attend the ceremony marking the inauguration of a Japan-China Youth Center. He also exchanged views with Chinese leaders on China's domestic and foreign policies, Japan-China relations and other matters, contributing greatly to further development of Japan-China, friendship. Prime Minister Nakasone and Chinese leaders reaffirmed that favorable, stable Japan-China relations would contribute to peace and stability of not only the two countries themselves but also Asia and the world as a whole, and that the two countries should further enhance their friendship and cooperation while respecting each other's national sentiment. Nakasone also announced "the Japan-China Youth Friendship Program" to invite 500 Chinese youths to Japan over five years from 1987.
The Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century, which is designed to look for measures to develop bilateral relations steadily toward the next century, held its third meeting in Tokyo and Oiso in September 1986. The committee members promoted their mutual understanding and trust based on their past two meetings and had an active, frank exchange of views on how to develop Japan-China relations steadily in a long run.
Thus Japan-China relations made favorable developments basically in 1986. But China gave criticisms against Japan in connection with Japan's school textbook inspection in June 1986 and a Japanese court decision on the Koka student dormitory in February 1987. In response, Japan has persistently stressed that no change has been made in Japan's basic policy of observing the Japan-China Joint Communique and the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship. The stance has been conveyed to the Chinese on various occasions.
Japan and China have dramatically developed their economic relations. But the development has resulted in Japan's large trade surplus with China. The year 1986's Japanese surplus declined from the previous year's $6 billion and was still as large as $4.2 billion.
B. Japan-China Economic Relations
(a) Two-way Japan-China trade in 1986 fell about 18% from the previous year to $15.5 billion. The trade balance remained in favor of Japan. The Japanese surplus was about $4.2 billion. China curbed automobile and television set imports from Japan in the year after a sharp increase in 1985 and expanded textile and food exports to Japan. But a sharp fall in prices of oil, which accounts for a major part of Chinese exports to Japan, led to the large Japanese trade surplus with China. Oil captured 34% of Chinese exports to Japan in 1985.
(b) Japan signed notes of exchange in May 1986 to extend up to \80.6 billion in loans to China under the fiscal 1986 budget. The loans were part of the \470 billion of low-interest yen credits which Prime Minister Nakasone, during his March 1984 visit to China, pledged to give China over seven years from fiscal 1984 to finance seven projects involving railway, port and harbor, communications and hydroelectric power generation development.
Japan also decided to give China up to about \6.9 billion in grant aid in fiscal 1986 for Chinese economic development projects, including those for "the first-phase construction of a Japan-China Youth Center," "improvement of the Center for Research on the Rehabilitation of Disabled People," "improvement of the Water Purification Plant in Changchun City," "improvement of equipment for the China-Japan Friendship Hospital" and "improvement of equipment for the Beijing's Vegetable Research Center."
(c) In government-level technical assistance to China through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan accepted Chinese trainees, dispatched specialists and provided equipments for a wide range of areas including transport, management and administration, agriculture and forestry, and health and medical services. Eleven Chinese projects are now subject to Japan's project-type technical assistance, including those for "the China-Japan Friendship Hospital" and "the Corporate Management Training Center." Under the agreement signed in October 1985 on dispatch of the Youth Overseas Cooperation Corps to China, Japan sent four people to China in December 1986 and another four in March 1987. The JICA is also cooperating with China in development surveys widely on transport, regional development, energy, agriculture, port and harbor, mineral resources, plant modernization and other areas.
(d) The Export-Import Bank of Japan has signed contracts with China to lend \350.8 billion under its first oil and coal development loan program which totals \420 billion. It signed a memorandum in December 1984 for the second oil and coal development loan program totaling \580 billion for two coal and four oil development projects. Under the second program, signed loan contracts have reached \144.6 billion.
C. Personnel and Cultural Exchange
Personnel traffic between Japan and China totaled 409,576 people in 1986, a sharp increase from about 9,000 people in 1972 when diplomatic relations were normalized. The two countries' cabinet ministers also visited each other frequently over the period. In November 1986, Prime Minister Nakasone visited China to attend an inauguration ceremony for the Japan-China Youth Center. Fiscal 1986's exchange of VIPs' visits between Japan and China is specified in the table.
Bilateral cultural exchange has been smoothly developing on a government-to-government basis under the bilateral cultural exchange agreement signed in December 1979, as well as on a private and local government basis. The Japanese government has promoted exchange of young people, accepted Chinese students, assisted China in Japanese language education and extended accumulative total of \518.5 million in cultural grant aid to China for 11 cultural projects. In addition, Prime Minister Nakasone, during his visit to China in November 1986, announced a new Japanese program to invite 100 Chinese youths to Japan annually for five years, starting in fiscal 1987.
D. Contruction of Japan-China Friendship Hall
Japan's government, business and other organizations came up with construction of the Japan-China Friendship Hall in Tokyo to mark the 10th anniversary of the 1972 normalization of Japan-China diplomatic relations. The two countries' government leaders agreed in September 1982 that the two governments would give assistance to the construction of the hall, including lodging houses for Chinese students and trainees, as well as various cultural exchange facilities. The Japanese government has spent a total of \2 billion on assistance to the construction, including \69.75 million in fiscal 1983, \697.5 million in fiscal 1984, \750 million in fiscal 1985 and \482.75 million in fiscal 1986. The hall's Building A was completed in March 1985 to house a dormitory of Chinese students and a language school. The remaining part, Building B, will be completed by January 1988 for various cultural exchange facilities.
E. Problem of Japanese Orphans by the War Left in China
(a) The government-sponsored search for relatives in Japan of Japanese who were left in China since World War II was launched in fiscal 1980 and almost completed in fiscal 1986. A total of 1,488 of such Japanese in China visited Japan in 15 groups during the period to look for their relatives. Of them, 553 people were identified by their relatives.
(b) The Japanese and Chinese governments exchanged verbal notes in May 1986 on payments to foster Chinese for their support of Japanese who have returned to Japan for permanent settlement. The Japanese government and other organizations have agreed to pay a monthly amount of 60 yuan for each of such Japanese. Payments, which have been started, are to be made in a single installment covering 15 years.
Unofficial Relations between Japan and Taiwan
A. Taiwanese visitors to Japan had increased year by year. But the number in 1986 fell by 15.9% from 1985 to about 300,000 people. Japanese visitors to Taiwan in 1986 increased by 13.1% from the previous year to about 697,000 people.
B. Two-way trade between Japan and Taiwan in 1986 increased by a sharp 49.1% from the previous year to $12,537 million and Japan's trade surplus with Taiwan totaled $3,165 million, according to Japanese statistics.
3. 6 ASEAN Nations and Burma
The year 1986 saw an active traffic of government leaders of both Japan and Indonesia. Among the Japanese leaders visiting Indonesia was former Minister for International Trade and Industry Michio Watanabe, while Indonesian visitors to Japan in the year included Minister of Mining and Energy Subroto, Minister of State for Public Housing Cosmas Batubara, Minister-Coordinator for Economy, Finance, Industry and Development Supervision Ali Wardhana, Minister of State for National Development Planning Johannes B. Sumarlin, Junior Minister for Promotion of Home Products Utilization Ginandjar Kartasasmita, Minister of Justice Ismail Saleh, and Minister of State for Research and Technology Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie. Although Indonesia had trade surplus with Japan in 1986 as its exports to Japan totaled $7.31 billion against imports of $2.66 billion, it sought Japan's financial and technical cooperation to promote its non-oil and gas exports. Indonesia also requested Japan's cooperation to extend its investment to that country, because Japanese and other foreign investments in Indonesia declined in 1986. On its part, Indonesia made efforts to improve its investment climate. During 1986,the Indonesian Government dispatched 69 science and technology students to Japan at its initiative. As a result, 97 such Indonesian students are studying in Japan.
Malaysia posted a large trade surplus with Japan in 1986. But in total both exports to and imports from Japan declined. Furthermore, the Japanese yen's fast appreciation since September 1985 caused sharp increases in dollar denominated value of Malaysia's yen loan repayments to Japan and in prices of imports from Japan.
Japan reduced its preferential duty on palm oil, a product of concern to Malaysia, to zero and subjected Malaysia's handmade batik cotton fabrics to preferential duties from April 1986. In late 1986, Japan decided to relax its terms on yen credits to Malaysia.
Leading figures of Japan and Malaysia met for the second Japan-Malaysia colloquium in Tokyo June 18-20, 1986, to discuss a wide range of political economic and other problems involving the two countries.
While the confusion after the establishment of a new regime in the Philippines affected Japan-Philippine relations, the two countries made efforts to promote their bilateral trade, investment, economic cooperation and cultural exchange as well as to enhance mutual visits of their leaders. Then Finance Minister Noboru Takeshita visited the Philippines for the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank in April 1986 and then Foreign Minister Abe for ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with the Dialogue Partners in June. Other Japanese visitors to the Philippines in 1986 included former Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda. Among the Philippine visitors to Japan were President Corazon Aquino who was received as a State Guest and Vice President and then Foreign Minister Salvador Laurel.
When Philippine President Aquino visited Japan in November 1986, Prime Minister Nakasone expressed Japan's intention that it would not spare its support to the new nation-building efforts of the Philippine Government.
In trade, Japan's exports to the Philippines totaled $1,088 million and its imports from that country $1,220.7 million in 1986. The Philippines thus posted a trade surplus with Japan.
The Manila office manager of Japan's Mitsui & Co. was kidnapped in the Philippines on November 15, 1986. However, after four months and a half he was rescued safe on March 31, 1987.
Japan and Singapore have maintained stable and good bilateral relations over the recent years. Based on this good relationship, Singapore demonstrated its great interest in and hopes on Japan in connection with its economy depression in 1986. Especially, Singapore called on Japan to further promote market opening efforts in order to maintain favorable Japan-U.S. economic relationship, which it said would have a positive impact on the whole world.
In 1986, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew made an official visit to Japan in October. Prime Ministers Nakasone and Lee discussed mainly the international economic situation, including the slack ASEAN economy, in the absence of serious problems pending between the two countries. The Singapore leader voiced great hopes on Japan's role in ASEAN's economic recovery.
Two-way Japan-Singapore trade in 1986 totaled US$6.02 billion, accounting for 12.5% of Singapore's total external trade. Japan was thus the second largest trading partner for Singapore, after the United States. The trade balance was US$3.10 billion in favor of Japan. Japan's investment in Singapore, was brisk due to the yen's fast appreciation in 1986, accounting for 34% of total foreign investment in Singapore. Japan thus outperformed the United States to become the largest foreign investor in Singapore.
Japan and Thailand have maintained favorable, close relations in a wide range of areas.
The trade imbalance, the largest problem pending, was improved substantially through cooperative efforts by the two countries as well as by the influence of the Japanese yen's appreciation. Amid the value of the yen's rise, Japanese businesses have increased their interest in Thailand as a promising investment destination because of its political stability and better investment climate.
Japan and Thailand are now planning various events to celebrate the Centenary of their Declaration of Amity and Commerce in 1987. The friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries are expected to be further promoted through these events.
Japan is Brunei's largest trading partner and purchases about 60% of Brunei's oil production and all of -its liquefied natural gas output. In 1985, Brunei's exports to Japan accounted for 61% of its total exports and its imports from Japan 20% of its total imports.
Japan has given positive assistance to Brunei's national construction efforts through much means as technical cooperation and dispatch of teachers.
Brunei opened its embassy in Japan in March 1986. The embassy opening had been a pending issue since Brunei's full independence in 1984. Also from June 1986, Japan and Brunei mutually exempted certain kinds of visas for stay of up to 14 days.
Japan and Burma maintained their close relations centering on economic cooperation in 1986. In September, Burma's Prime Minister Maung Maung Kha visited Japan as official guest along with Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Kyaw Htin, Foreign Minister Ye Gaung and other government officials, contributing to further promotion of bilateral relations. In addition, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance and Planning Minister Tun Tin visited Japan in January 1986 to attend the sixth conference of aid to Burma. From Japan, Parliamentary Vice-Foreign Minister Takeshi Hamano made a trip to Burma in January 1987. The two countries continued actively to exchange visits of leading figures as in the previous year.
H. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
The ASEAN countries are faced with economic difficulties and are trying to solve the difficulties through their self-help efforts including their regional cooperation. Japan has made it one of the major foreign policy to fully cooperate in such ASEAN efforts.
At the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with Dialogue Partners in Manila in June 1986, then Japanese Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe delivered an address on Japan's Asian policy where he put forward three pillars of Japan's Asian policy: (1)Japan's contribution as a country committed to peace, (2) Promotion of mutual understanding through continuous dialogue and heart-to-heart exchange for the establishment of mutual trust, and (3) establishment of a cooperative relationship between Japan and ASEAN capable of effective response to a changing environment.
The Japanese Asian policy was appreciated highly by ASEAN.
The board of directors of the ASEAN Trade, Investment and Tourism Promotion Center met in December 1986 and decided to extend the agreement of the Center for five years from May 1987. It also decided to move a permanent ASEAN exposition site from Ikebukuro to Ginza, to enhance the center's activities.
Japan's relations with Vietnam remained at a standstill which reflected the unchanged political situation regarding the Cambodian problem. But Japan and Vietnam held political talks when Vietnamese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Vo Dong Giang visited Japan in October 1986 on his way home from the annual United Nations General Assembly session. At the sixth convention of the Vietnamese Communist Party in December, a party report specified Japan and four other western nations as the countries with which Vietnam wished to enhance and expand its friendly relations.
(a) Japan has been supporting the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea and has not recognized the so-called "Heng Samrin Regime."
(b) Japan's position is that an early solution of the Cambodian problem is essential for the peace and stability of Southeast Asia. Based on this position, Japan has continued to seek a comprehensive political settlement based on the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Cambodia and the self-determination of the Cambodian people. In this respect, Japan has extended its support to the diplomatic efforts of ASEAN which holds the same position as Japan, and has continued its dialogue with Vietnam.
(c) As part of these Japanese diplomatic efforts, Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe emphasized "dialogue for coexistence" at ASEAN's Post-Ministerial Conference in June 1986. Abe also said Japan was prepared to extend economic and technical assistance to Indochina when true and lasting peace is established in Cambodia.
Japan has been striving to promote friendly relations with Western nations. Bilateral relations were promoted smoothly in 1986 as Japan's former Foreign Minister Yoshio Sakurauchi visited Laos at the invitation of the Laotian Government. Japan has extended economic assistance centering on grant aid to Laos for the purpose of contributing to its economic and social development, as it is the only least less-developed country in Southeast Asia. Laos has growing hopes toward Japan as the largest Western donor of aid to that country.
D. Refugee Problem
(a) Since the mass exodus of Indochinese refugees arose in 1979, Japan has been positively promoting assistance to refugees, including financial aid, provision of first asylum as well as resettlement in Japan. Japan appropriated some $25 million to such financial aid in fiscal 1986, boosting its accumulative financial aid since 1979 to more than $520 million.
(b) As for the provision of first asylum, about 350 boat people landed to Japan in 1986. An accumulative total landed to Japan since 1975 exceeded 8,800 people, of which about 930 are still staying in Japan.
On the other hand, the number of refugees accepted for resettlement in Japan reached 5,001 people at the end of March 1986, including boat people arriving in Japan and refugees received from refugee camps in Southeast Asian countries.
5. South Asia
The traditionally friendly relations between Japan and the South Asian nations have become further closer, for example, by the official visits to Nepal, Bhutan and India of Prince Naruhito in March 1987, which contributed to promoting Japan's friendship and goodwill relations with these countries.
Events of 1986 in relations with India included the fifth Japan-India Trade Talks in May, the first meeting of the Joint Committee on Japan-India Cooperation in Science and Technology in September and Japan-India Foreign Ministry Official Level Talks in December. In November, Indian Minister of External Affair Narayan Datt Tiwari visited Japan as a member of a mission of the non-aligned countries.
As for Pakistan, the third Japan-Pakistan Joint Commission meeting took place in July 1986.
From Bangladesh, Foreign Minister Humayun Rasheed Choudhury visited Japan as a guest of the Foreign Ministry in his capacity of the United Nations General Assembly President and held talks with his Japanese counterpart Tadashi Kuranari in February 1987.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa exchanged views with Prime Minister Nakasone on the occasion of his unofficial visit to Japan in August 1986.
6. Mongolia and Hong Kong
Japan's relations with Mongolia remained stable in 1986. Bilateral personnel exchange included a visit to Japan by Ludevdorjiyn Khashbat, head of the Department of Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the MPR in February 1987.
Cultural exchange, based on an annual government-to-government agreement, included exchange of students and hers, mutual invitation of scholars and a Japanese photo exhibition in Mongolia.
In technical cooperation, Japan accepted Mogolian trainees and sent specialists to Mongolia as in the past years.
(2) Hong Kong
Japanese residents in Hong Kong are estimated at an average of 10,000 people including those for short-term stays. Japanese-affiliated corporations in Hong Kong number about 800.
The Japanese share of Hong Kong's total imports is 23.6%, the second largest after the Chinese share. Hong Kong is an important export market for Japan. Hong Kong's trade imbalance with Japan was improved substantially in 1986 as its exports to Japan increased by 29.3% from the previous year. Consequently the ratio of Hong Kong's exports to imports in trade with Japan in 1986 fell from 5.4:1 in 1985 to 4.4:1.
7. Pacific Cooperation
The world's interest in the Pacific region has been growing over the recent years against the background of the region's dynamic economic development. Pacific cooperation is also attracting attention because regional problems for multilateral solution have increased in accordance with development of interdependent relations between Pacific countries.
The year 1986 saw positive private-sector activities through such organizations as the Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (PECC) and the Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC). Especially in the PECC, China and Chinese Taipei Committees became members simultaneously. The Soviet Union, which had been critical of Pacific cooperation, indicated a change in its attitude.
(2) Activities of Major Private Forums
A. Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (PECC)
The PECC, which is a tripartite organization of government officials, businessmen and scholars, established five task forces at its general meeting in Seoul in April 1985. These task forces held international meetings at various Pacific points from March to July 1986 to deal with regional cooperation in their respective areas.
The PECC held its fifth general meeting in Vancouver, Canada, in November 1986. China and Chinese Taipei Committees joined the meeting in addition to the traditional PECC member committees including Japan, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the six ASEAN countries and Pacific Island Nations. Delegates thus attended it from 13 countries and two regions. The conferees discussed problems in the respective areas of trade, investment, trade and investment, fishery, livestock and feed grains and minerals and energy, and adopted the "Statement on Pacific Economic Cooperation" to specify principles of PECC activities in writing for the first time. They also decided to hold the next general meeting in Osaka in May 1988. In response, the Japan National Committee proposed the review on Pacific cooperation, Pacific economic outlook and conception of "Pacific Cooperation Research Fund" for the next general meeting. The participants agreed to promote and consider these plans.
B. Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC)
The PBEC, a forum for businessmen, held its 19th general meeting in Seoul in May 1986 under the theme of "Combatting Protectionism."
The Japan member committee sponsored an international symposium in Tokyo in March 1987 on "The Pacific Cooperation, Now and Future." It also plans to hold "Group Training Course in Middle Management by Private Sector for Pacific Cooperation" in September 1987 to promote personnel development of the member countries in cooperation with the government sector, under the technical cooperation scheme of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
C. Other Major Private-Sector Activities
(a) The Pacific Trade and Development Conference (PAFTAD), which consists of famous scholars in the Pacific region, held its 16th Conference in Wellington in January 1987 to deal with "International Trade and Investment in Services in the Pacific Region."
(b) In March 1987, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and five private Japanese organizations jointly sponsored the second symposium on Pacific Energy Cooperation (SPEC) in Tokyo under the theme of "Pacific Energy Cooperation-Scenario for the 21st Century."
D. Soviet Moves
(a) The Soviet Union had been opposed to Pacific cooperation including late Japanese Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira's Pacific basin cooperation concept. The Gorbachev administration, which took power in 1985, however, indicated a change in the Soviet attitude.
(b) In his address in Vladivostok in July 1986, Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev made a shift from the traditional Soviet attitude and voiced the Soviet's readiness to participate in Pacific cooperation.
(c) The Soviet Union later informed countries involved of its hope to take part in the PECC. As a result, a Soviet embassy official in Canada was allowed to attend the PECC general meeting in Vancouver in November as an observer.
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