2. Major Speeches Delivered Abroad by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister
(1) Statement by Foreign Minsiter Taro Nakayama at the 45th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
(United Nations, New York, 25 September 1990)
Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I would like first, on behalf of the Government and people of Japan, to express my congratulations to Mr. Guido de Marco on his election as President of this Forty-fifth Session of the General Assembly. At the same time, I would be remiss were I not to express our appreciation to Mr. Joseph Garba for the exemplary manner in which he presided over the Forty-fourth Session. I would also like to extend a hearty welcome to the Republic of Namibia and the Principality of Liechtenstein, both of which are joining us at the General Assembly as new members of the United Nations.
Established for the paramount purpose of maintaining international peace, the United Nations has once again become the focus of international attention and hope as it has moved promptly and appropriately to deal with the recent Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, to work for peace in Cambodia, and to fulfill its other missions. I sincerely welcome the revitalization of the United Nations role in maintaining and restoring peace, and express my profound appreciation and respect to the Security Council, Secretary-General de Cuellar, and the entire United Nations staff for their contributions to that end.
Since we last gathered in these halls one year ago, the international situation has undergone changes far greater than any of us could have imagined. We are now truly at a historic watershed. In the light of the perestroika and the "new thinking" that guides the foreign policy of the Soviet Union, democratization and the shift to market economies in Eastern Europe, and the advent of a new era in U.S.-Soviet relations, the Cold War is now a thing of the past. The transformation from discord and conflict to dialogue and cooperation that began in Europe has extended to other regions as well and now shows signs of spreading worldwide. The collapse of the Berlin Wall and German unification are symbolic of this quantum leap to freedom and cooperation. However, despite the laudable historic changes, the sudden shattering of peace in the Gulf Region with Iraq's illegal invasion of Kuwait is a reminder that the future of the international community remains uncertain and a demonstration that even this new international order is fraught with peril.
In this rapidly changing international situation, what are the international community's ultimate needs, and what role can the United Nations play in their attainment? These are crucial issues, and our response to them will help determine whether we shall succeed in ensuring that this new world order is one of peace and justice.
(Peace and Stability)
In taking a series of prompt and effective measures against Iraqi aggression, the Security Council became the embodiment of the international community's conscience, and underline the vital role the United Nations has to play. The collective security mechanism of the United Nations is based on a solemn pledge: states will resolve their differences peacefully through discussion, and meet with united opposition any state that breaks these vows. While in the era of East-West discord this system did not always work as effectively as we might have hoped, it may be said that a new era has dawned in which it could come into full flower. Terrorism and regional disputes grounded in ancient territorial or ethnic rivalries are the main destabilizing elements at this time of transition, and it is essential that the United Nations play a central role in their prevention, elimination, and resolution.
(Freedom and Democracy)
The wave of democratization spawned by reform and free elections in the countries of Eastern Europe gives us hope that a veritable tide of democratization will overtake Africa, Asia and Latin America, and that a current of reform will spread across the entire world. Market principles likewise are being embraced in more and more countries around the world. All people, regardless of where they live, must be guaranteed their fundamental human rights, must enjoy freedom of expression and have the right to pursue freely economic activities. The concept of each person realizing his or her full potential is crucial to the attainment of a truly just and humane world based on respect and equality. I believe that "The World Summit for Children," to be convened this weekend, will be meaningful in raising awareness of the issue of the rights of the world's children.
By dispatching election observer teams to monitor free elections in diverse parts of the world, the United Nations has contributed immensely to this tide of democratization and, under the banner of "ballots not bullets," has proclaimed the gospel of self-determination, which holds that a nation's future is determined by the will of its people. I am confident that the United Nations will play an increasingly important role in ensuring basic human rights and economic freedom.
(Prosperity and the Global Community)
Although in the postwar era much of the free world has enjoyed development and prosperity, many developing countries are still beset by grinding poverty and crippling debt. If the international community is to achieve sustained growth, we must strive to ensure that developing countries share in it. There are also numerous problems - such as those relating to the global environment and drugs - that affect all humankind and thus demand a common response. Because it is clearly impossible for any one country alone to resolve these issues, cooperation through the United Nations system is essential.
(Japan's Basic Stance)
Since the Second World War, Japan has developed a foreign policy whose object, above all else, is peace and, in line with its Peace Constitution, has restricted its military activities entirely to defense, seeking to resolve differences with other nations through discussion. The spirit underlying Japan's Constitution is based on the principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes that is embodied in the United Nations Charter. Thus, ever since being admitted to membership, Japan has made the United Nations an extremely important part of its foreign policy. Japan is firmly resolved not to become a military power that could pose a threat to other nations, to steadfastly uphold its three non-nuclear principles, not to export arms to belligerents or countries on the brink of belligerency, and to contribute to world stability through peaceful means.
Based on the position that it will discharge those international obligations it deems most appropriate, and in view of its dual position as an Asia-Pacific nation and an industrial democracy, Japan will seek to contribute to a better world and pursue an activist foreign policy in the quest for peace and stability throughout the international community.
(Cooperation for Peace)
Addressing this Assembly last year, I declared that Japan would cooperate to the best of its ability in the cause of world peace - through diplomatic efforts, financial and personnel support for United Nations Peace-Keeping Operations, and assistance for refugees and for national rehabilitation following the resolution of conflicts. Along with continuing to promote such cooperation in the cause of peace, Japan is determined to make broad-based contributions to those most urgent issues facing the international community: worldwide peace, stability, and democracy.
Accordingly, Japan is prepared to cooperate in every possible way within the bounds of its Constitution so that the United Nations collective security mechanism can function effectively. Responding to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, Japan had independently decided to impose economic sanctions even before the Security Council took such action, and it is faithfully observing all the terms of the Security Council resolutions. Seeking to contribute vigorously to international efforts for the restoration of peace and stability in the Gulf region, Japan has responded positively to the call for material, transport, medical, and financial support. Japan is also extending assistance to the many refugees this conflict has generated, as well as economic support for the countries in the region most severely affected. Japan calls upon Iraq to heed the repeated Security Council resolutions and to withdraw promptly and unconditionally from Kuwait. The Iraqi measures barring the departure of many Japanese and other foreign nationals stranded in Iraq are intolerable from a humanitarian, as well as international legal standpoint. Japan demands that the Government of Iraq allow these people to leave as soon as possible. I hope the Secretary-General will continue his efforts toward that end.
The peace-keeping activities of the United Nations have taken on added breadth and intensity in recent years. I am particularly pleased that the areas of possible civilian participation have expanded, allowing a greater number of countries to become involved. I refer, in particular, to civilian monitoring of elections and the incorporation of a civil administrative function, as envisioned for the operations in Cambodia and Western Sahara. The United Nations is thus participating in the establishment of democratic governments, representing the best interests of the entire international community. Japan has been making a special effort to support peace-keeping operations, including voluntary contributions to their start-up costs and also to a Trust Fund for strengthening their financial base. I would like to call upon other Member States to do likewise. Japan has also provided civilian personnel for the election observer teams in Namibia and Nicaragua, and I assure you it will continue to extend both financial and personnel support for these activities.
In an effort to further expand Japan's participation, Prime Minister Kaifu announced that he would review the legal system of Japan and seriously consider enacting new legislation - for example, a United Nations Peace Cooperation Law. This would enable Japan within the framework of its Constitution to assume greater responsibilities regarding United Nations activities for preserving peace and to participate in international efforts in support of those activities. Indeed, the Government is now engaged in intensive deliberations on this legislation. I believe that Japan can best contribute to the cause of world peace, and in a manner consistent with its Peace Constitution, by participating in United Nations activities to restore and maintain international peace and stability.
(Peace and Stability in the Asia-Pacific Region)
The tumultuous changes witnessed in Europe are spreading to other regions and have begun to have a global impact. In the Asia-Pacific region they include improvements in Sino-Soviet and in Korean-Soviet relations, the start of the Soviet withdrawal from Mongolia and Cam Ranh Bay, and the process of democratization in Mongolia. These changes will surely be followed by others. At the same time, however, the Soviet Union continues to occupy Japan's Northern Territories, stability has yet to come to the Korean peninsula, and many problems stand in the way of a comprehensive political settlement in Cambodia. Moreover, there are fears that conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir may escalate.
Peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region has a direct bearing upon Japan's own stability, and I feel it is essential to work together to dispel the political distrust and resolve other problems in the region. Accordingly, it is Japan's policy, as part of its diplomatic efforts, to encourage more vigorous and constructive dialogue among all countries concerned.
In this era when new relationships, based on dialogue and cooperation, are being forged worldwide, I am hopeful that progress will be made toward normalizing Japanese-Soviet relations, resolving the still unsettled Northern Territories issue, and concluding a peace treaty between our two countries. Progress in these areas not only will contribute immeasurably to buttressing peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region but will help extend to other parts of the world the substantive improvements in the East-West relationship that are taking place in Europe. It is on this basis that Japan will continue to further expand and strengthen the dialogue; I hope that the Soviet Union will likewise make greater efforts for fundamental improvements in the relationship.
(Relations with China)
It is crucial to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region that the People's Republic of China remain open to the rest of the world and enjoy domestic stability. Hoping that China will continue to pursue policies of reform and openness, Japan, for its part, will continue its policy of extending all possible cooperation to such Chinese efforts for modernization.
A comprehensive political settlement in which the United Nations is involved is essential to any lasting solution to the long-festering Cambodian problem. Following last year's international conference in Paris, efforts for a political settlement have been made at the international level, the regional level, and at the national level among the principal parties. An Asian nation itself, Japan hosted the Tokyo Meeting on Cambodia in an effort to find a solution to this problem, which is the primary destabilizing factor in the region, and has taken an active part in the peace process. The momentum for peace is building with the formulation of a framework for a settlement by the permanent members of the Security Council and the establishment at the Jakarta meeting of the Supreme National Council. I very much hope that the Paris Conference will be convened soon, that the remaining problems will be ironed out, and that peace will come to Cambodia in the near future. Japan is considering how it might extend cooperation with United Nations peace-keeping activities and, once peace is attained, national rehabilitation efforts.
(The Korean Peninsula)
The issue of the Korean peninsula is, as a matter of principle, one to be settled peacefully through direct dialogue between the authorities of the North and the South. Highly appreciative of the fact that the historic North-South Prime Ministerial Meeting took place earlier this month in Seoul, Japan hopes that further progress will be made in the North-South dialogue. In the light of this new situation, Japan is working positively to improve relations with North Korea, with due regard for maintaining international political balance. Japan hopes to contribute to the creation of a climate conducive to further dialogue between North and South Korea. Moreover, we have maintained the position that we would welcome and support United Nations membership for North and South, as an interim measure toward the goal of unification of the peninsula. This would also contribute to the relaxation of tensions and would enhance the universality of the United Nations. We hope that constructive talks will be held between North and South and on the basis of the outcome of the recent North-South Prime Ministerial Meeting.
I place greatest importance on the progress made recently in South Africa toward the elimination of apartheid. Preliminary negotiations between the Government of South Africa and the African National Congress have prepared the way for true negotiations on the drafting of a new Constitution, and I believe this represents a significant step toward a peaceful resolution of the problem. Japan supports the efforts of all the principals involved in South Africa for the establishment of a free and democratic regime, a regime from which apartheid has been fully eradicated.
We must not forget that, even today, internal fighting continues in Afghanistan. Japan has long emphasized that true stability cannot be attained in Afghanistan without the establishment of a broad-based government that reflects the popular will. Japan has been working actively on behalf of refugee repatriation, for example, by contributing to the Office of the Coordinator for United Nations Humanitarian and Economic Assistance to Afghanistan. I sincerely hope that through the determined efforts of the Afghan people themselves to solve their problems and through the negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union, peace and stability will be restored to Afghanistan and that refugees can return to their homes as soon as possible.
Japan has consistently supported the efforts and initiatives of countries in the region to restore peace to Central America. We attach greatest importance to the fact that a change of government was effected in Nicaragua through free and fair elections held under United Nations supervision, and we hope that in El Salvador a cease-fire will be achieved with United Nations cooperation.
(Arms Control and Disarmament)
In the field of arms control and disarmament, it is gratifying that the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks and the Negotiations on Conventional Forces in Europe have been accelerated. This progress both reflects and reinforces the overall improvement in East-West relations.
Yet of ever greater urgency is the question of how to structure, maintain, and strengthen global arrangements against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as of missiles and other armaments. The current situation in the Gulf vividly demonstrates this question. I am convinced that Japan's firm policy of restricting the export of weapons has contributed to the maintenance of international peace and security. Believing it imperative that there be greater disclosure and greater transparency in the transfer of conventional weapons, I very much hope that a productive conclusion can be reached on this issue in the deliberations by the group of experts, as called for in the General Assembly resolution.
While the recently concluded Fourth Review Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty did not adopt a final declaration, it did reaffirm the significance of the NPT structure. Japan will continue to work for the maintenance and strengthening of the NPT regime and calls upon all of the signatories to strictly observe the Treaty's provisions. We believe that having France and China present as observers at this Fourth Review Conference was beneficial in that it made the NPT regime more universal, and we appeal to all countries, nuclear and non-nuclear alike, to accede to the Treaty as soon as possible if they have not already done so.
In the same vein, Japan was pleased that this year at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament the ad hoc committee was reconvened to deliberate on substantive issues relating to the limiting or banning of nuclear testing. That the United States and the Soviet Union have exchanged instruments of ratification for two treaties relating to nuclear testing is also encouraging, and we hope that this work will be continued next year.
If we are ever to achieve a fundamental solution to the issue of chemical weapons, it is essential that we make further efforts, in the spirit of the Final Declaration of the Paris Conference, for an early conclusion of the Geneva Conference on Disarmament on a comprehensive ban on these weapons. The initiatives taken recently by the United States and the Soviet Union on this issue deserve our highest respect.
Japan, for its part, will continue to work at the United Nations, at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament and in other forums for effective arms control and disarmament.
(Support for Democratization)
As an industrial democracy, Japan is contributing vigorously to the movement toward democracy manifest in so many places around the world. Japan's basic policy is to cooperate actively, as appropriate to each situation, with countries that are themselves undertaking democratization.
In coordination with the other industrial democracies, Japan will continue to support actively the democratic governments that have been established in Eastern Europe.
I believe it is incumbent upon us to demonstrate our support, through economic and other forms of cooperation, for the democratization efforts of developing countries by extending economic and other forms of cooperation.
(Maintaining and Strengthening Free Trade)
As is clear from the efforts for perestroika in the Soviet Union and the shift to market economies in Eastern Europe, the driving force behind the world economy's dynamic development has been the system of free trade centered on market economy principles.
Moreover, it is hoped that the integration of the European Community slated for 1992 will not succumb to regionalism and protectionism, but will be open to the rest of the world. It is essential that the free trade system be preserved and strengthened in order to ensure sustained development everywhere, including in East European and developing countries. Accordingly, our most urgent task is to ensure that the Uruguay Round is concluded successfully, stemming the tide of protectionism and restructuring the international trading order for the twenty-first century. With little more than two months to go in the negotiations, it is essential that every government concerned have the political will to make a concerted effort to resolve the remaining issues.
(Development of Developing Countries)
The effort to support the East European countries in their transition to market economies must not adversely affect assistance to developing countries. This position was reaffirmed in the Economic Declaration of the Houston Summit. Support for developing countries, especially non-oil-producing countries, is especially important in view of the effects that the current situation in the Gulf is having on them. Thus, we must recognize that the need to cooperate with the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America as they strive to overcome their economic difficulties is greater than ever.
Japan has systematically enhanced its Official Development Assistant (ODA) in a effort to expand the flow of capital and technical cooperation to developing countries. As a result, last year Japan became the world's largest donor of ODA. At the same time, it is working to implement measures to recycle private and public funds on an untied basis to developing countries burdened by debt and other problems.
The LLDCs of sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere demand particular consideration as they struggle with declining market prices for their primary commodities, low growth rates, trade deficits, burgeoning debt, and other grave difficulties. Japan has been strengthening its support for the economic structural adjustment efforts of these countries by extending non-project grant capital cooperation as well as grant assistance to offset obligations arising from past yen credits. The recent LLDC Paris Conference has played an important role in bringing to world attention the desperate plight of the LLDCs and the need for international cooperation. Japan intends to extend assistance to these countries to the best of its ability.
As Japan's ODA disbursements have increased, making it the world's leading donor country, I have frequently been asked if this assistance is truly designed to meet actual needs of the recipient countries, if due attention is paid to environmental concerns in development projects, and if the assistance is being used effectively. I hope that the system for assessing the effectiveness of aid will be improved and the dialogue on aid policies and programmes between donor and recipient countries strengthened. The United Nations, UNDP, and other international bodies play the leading role here, and I suggest that they strengthen all possible measures to achieve these ends.
(Science and Technology)
The dramatic political and economic changes which the international community is now witnessing are closely related to dramatic advances in science and technology. Ever since the invention of the steam engine gave rise to the industrial revolution and irrevocably altered the social structure, scientific innovation has affected the way society has developed. Today, advances in telecommunications satellites have made it possible to exchange information and images in real time, and advances in transportation technology have meant that we have been able to travel more frequently and at faster speeds. Indeed, the instantaneous transmission of information was a major factor behind the chain reaction of rapid, radical reform in Eastern Europe. Scientific and technological advances offer infinite possibilities for human progress.
The other side of this coin, however, is the alarming progress made in weapons technology with its potential for the total destruction of human society. And the vast increases in production and consumption that have accompanied scientific and technological advances have in turn given rise to the problems of global warming, destruction of the ozone layer, depletion of the tropical rain forests, acid rain, creeping desertification, and other disruptions of the global ecological balance.
Because these issues are of the most urgent importance to the entire global community, it is incumbent upon the United Nations, humankind's most universal organization, to mobilize all of the capabilities available to it in the search for solutions.
Japan's assiduous efforts to overcome its serious environmental pollution problems have resulted, for example, in the achievement of the lowest carbon dioxide emission levels relative to its GDP of any industrial nation. I assure you that Japan will use its scientific and technological expertise, experience, and wisdom, as well as its economic might, to contribute ever more vigorously to international cooperation on global environmental issues. Consistent with this policy, and with its continuing support for the activities of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), and other bodies, Japan is increasing its ODA for environmental programmes to approximately 300 billion yen over the three-year period from 1989-91. Japan is also taking an active part in preparations for the 1992 United Nations Conference for Environment and Development, and will extend cooperation to support developing countries, through, for example, the Multilateral Fund under the Montreal Protocol.
The transfer of technology is an important part of assistance to developing countries. A study is now under way on the possibility of establishing in Japan the UNEP Centre for Global Environmental Conservation. This would serve as a central body to coordinate the collection of technical data to meet the needs of developing countries and provide access to appropriate technology through training and other programmes. As soon as UNEP makes a formal decision, the Government of Japan will cooperate with efforts to establish this Centre.
The 1990s have been designated the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. As one of the countries that proposed this designation, Japan appeals to all countries of the world to make every effort to raise international consciousness about natural disasters, to minimize the damage from such disasters, and to protect the global environment.
It is the field of medicine in which we have most directly experienced the benefits of science and technology, and it is clear that international cooperation in this field is most important if we are to go on to create a global community in which all people can live full and healthy lives. Through advances in medicine, tuberculosis, smallpox, and many other once-feared diseases have been largely eradicated. It is hoped that in the not-too-distant future, effective means will be found to treat cancer and AIDS.
The accident at Chernobyl was a stark reminder of the potential of scientific and technological advances to threaten humankind's very survival. This year, the Economic and Social Council has called for bilateral and multilateral assistance to the victims of that tragic accident. As the only country to have suffered the effects of the atomic bomb, Japan intends to use the experience it has gained in this field to benefit those victims.
The drug problem is another issue that can only be resolved with international cooperation, and here too hopes are high that the United Nations will play an effective role. Japan supports UNFDAC and is working to implement the global action program and political declaration adopted at the Special Session on Narcotic Drugs. Consistent with these efforts, Japan has proposed that an Asia-Pacific drug conference be convened to promote and coordinate intraregional cooperation on this issue.
(The Role of the United Nations)
In this era of change, it is important that serious thought be given to the question of whether the roles and functions of the United Nations are fully suited to the emerging international order. The Security Council, for example, has an increasingly important role to play in this age of dialogue and cooperation in maintaining and restoring peace; even before conflict erupts, it should, together with the Secretary-General, engage in preventive diplomacy to warn of the danger, and to lower the level of tension. I believe that a system should be put in place, which, in a situation where international peace and security are threatened, would enable the Security Council to conduct fact-finding activities and dispatch observer missions and the Secretary-General to undertake efforts to intervene and prevent conflict at an early stage. Such a system would constitute a particularly effective means of preventing the escalation of disputes. Japan is prepared to work in earnest with other Member States to take the necessary measures to strengthen these conflict-prevention functions.
All Member States should take full part in United Nations activities, working as equals in this new era of cooperation. Consistent with this principle, I believe that the so-called former enemy clauses remaining in the Charter are entirely inappropriate and meaningless in this new era, and I would like to call upon other U.N. members for their understanding and support in the elimination of these clauses.
The speedy response of the United Nations to the Iraqi crisis has opened the eyes of leaders and people the world over to the usefulness of the United Nations and especially of its efforts to maintain and restore peace. In Japan, the media offer detailed reports of every Security Council session and thorough analysis of the Secretary-General's every diplomatic move. At the same time, there is an earnest public debate now under way as to how Japan, a pacifist nation, can more fully cooperate with the United Nations to achieve world peace. I trust that similar debates are taking place in other nations around the globe.
Never before have hopes been higher that the United Nations will play a leading role in the pursuit of world peace and stability; in the creation of a free and democratic society, where human rights are respected; in the achievement of lasting prosperity; and in solving the environmental and other global problems facing mankind.
We are now in the final decade of the twentieth century, and, as we look back, it is clear that this was a century of protracted war and conflict. It should be just as clear that the twenty-first century must be one of peace and cooperation.
All nations will have to cooperate to preserve the global environment, control drug abuse, deter international terrorism, and prevent the depletion of the earth's resources.
Having made the United Nations a central focus of its foreign policy ever since being accepted as a member, Japan places its full trust and hope in the Organization. Japan is determined to make every possible effort for world peace and stability, for a humane international community, and for an enduringly beautiful planet.
(2) Policy Speech by Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu during His ASEAN Visit
(Singapore, May 3, 1991)
Japan and ASEAN: Seeking a Mature Partnership for the New Age
Distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen:
I would like first to thank this distinguished cross-section of Singapore's finest for coming out today and three authoritative host organizations - the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), the Institute for South-East Asian Studies (ISEAS), and the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) - for arranging this opportunity for me to say a few words on Japanese foreign policy.
Riding into town yesterday from your new Changi Airport, I could not help but notice your very orderly and well-kept "clean and green" townscape and the comings and goings of your lively people. I have the feeling that I have come face to face with the essence of Singapore's modern prosperity. Likewise, when I talked with people here about the success they have had in achieving prosperity in only a quarter-century since independence and their vision for the future of ASEAN in the 21st Century, I had the undeniable feeling that I was witnessing what Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong has characterized as the new "Crescent of Prosperity" linking Northeast Asia, Indochina, and ASEAN in the 21st century.
And I am confident that Singapore and Japan should serve as the two indispensable tips of this crescent in a shining partnership that brings greater prosperity to this region.
2. The Lessons of the Gulf Crisis
Ladies and gentlemen:
Even as the crumbling of the Berlin Wall told us that the East-West conflict was dissipating, the world was shocked to attention with the sudden outbreak of the Gulf Crisis last August. Iraq's invasion of Kuwait tore the international community's peace and stability asunder and was a direct rejection of the efforts being made to build a new world order. Had we been willing to accept Iraqi aggression as a fait accompli, had the international community not rallied together under United Nations auspices, there would have been more Iraqis down the line threatening the survival of this and future generations.
As you will recall, the Asian countries responded to this situation and contributed to its resolution, each in its own way. The ASEAN countries were firm in their support for and adherence to the United Nations Security Council resolutions. Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and the Republic of Korea sent medical teams to the area, and Pakistan and Bangladesh sent personnel to take part in the multinational force. I pay my utmost respect to these countries for their efforts. Nor was Japan idle. Japan announced a comprehensive package of economic measures against Iraq even in advance of the United Nations Security Council resolution, and we extended various contributions amounting to well over $10 billion to support the efforts of the other countries for the restoration of peace in the Gulf. I believe that these Asian contributions demonstrated how very important it is that the Asian countries, having achieved such dramatic development recently, take a vigorous part in the effort to construct a new world order. Another example of such Asian contributions can be found in the participation in the United Nations Iraq - Kuwait Observation Mission by a number of Asian countries including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia from ASEAN following the cease-fire.
This Gulf War has wreaked massive destruction and devastation. There is, of course, the tragedy of people caught up in the theater of war, as well as the plight of the many evacuees generated and the vast economic dislocation that took place; and the impact of this conflict affected not only the neighboring countries but even countries as far away as Asia. In addition to providing about $2 billion in economic cooperation for the frontline countries and $60 million for evacuee relief, we extended emergency economic assistance to Syria, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka in consideration of the impact that the Gulf Crisis has had on them.
Further, we also did what we could to help repatriate evacuees to their homes in Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, and elsewhere in Asia.
Although a cease-fire bas gone into effect, the postwar situation is still grim, as seen in the vast exodus of Kurds fleeing civil war in Iraq and in the environmental degradation that has resulted from the spillage of crude oil and the firing of oil wells; and it will not be easy to resolve these problems and restore the situation to normality. In view of these circumstances, Japan recently decided to finance a total of US$100 million for Kurdish and other Iraqi refugees and will continue to extend maximum possible cooperation in the area of environmental countermeasures among others.
3. Features Characterizing the International Order
Ladies and gentlemen:
Why has this cruel situation occurred? While many explanations are possible, I suspect the basic reason is that the religious, ethnic, territorial, and other disputes and conflicts that had been eclipsed by the Cold War suddenly surfaced with the abatement of East-West tensions. In a way, this might be put down to the uncertainty and instability so typical of transitional periods. Having initiated a number of favorable developments in Europe, the Soviet Union is now beset with ethnic rivalries and economic disorder within its own borders, and this is in turn casting anxious shadows over the international outlook.
It is imperative that we correctly identify the nature of this transitional period and find ways to respond appropriately to the issues facing us. Accordingly, I would like to spend a few minutes outlining some of the factors that I think underlie the international situation.
For one thing, there are changes underway in the power relationships among the world's leading countries. With the dissolution of Cold War structures, the world is clearly moving from bipolarity to multipolarity. Western Europe and Japan are becoming increasingly important as countries that should play major roles alongside the United States. The Asian newly industrializing economies (NIEs), ASEAN and other countries are also emerging as important players on the international stage.
At the same time, the forces determining the flow of international relations are also changing. In the Gulf Crisis, of course, military force was the means of last resort for preserving order within the international community. But it is true that military force is today becoming less important as a determining factor in international relations. What is of increasing importance is the sum total of economic strength, scientific and technological prowess, social stability and order and the whole range of other factors that constitute the influence of a country.
Compounding this, the rapid enhancement of interdependence has meant that there are more and more issues such as the environment, drugs, and terrorism that cannot be solved by any one country or even any one region acting alone and whose solution requires cooperation and solidarity among the entire international community.
If we are to secure the peace and to ensure that the benefits of prosperity can be enjoyed by the entire international community in this changing international situation, it is essential that each country not try to do everything by itself but join together with others to strengthen regional and international frameworks for international cooperation. Japan is resolved to make every possible effort to that end.
4. Outlook for the Asia-Pacific Region and Japan's Role in the 1900s
Ladies and gentlemen:
I do not need to remind you that the world has already acknowledged the dynamic advances made by the Asian NIEs, the ASEAN countries and the other countries of the Asia-Pacific region and the important place that these countries have come to occupy in the management of the world economy. Yet, I believe we need to further this trend. At the same time, we need to go beyond the economic realm and work in political, social, and foreign policy realms as well to become a major force for stability grounded in freedom and democracy. In that sense, I am glad to see that the situation in China seems to be in the process of settling after a period causing anxiety and that there is an unmistakable drive for freedom and democracy in Mongolia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and elsewhere. All of these developments give me renewed hope for the future. Now is the time to step up our cooperative efforts if we want to consolidate further Asia-Pacific peace and prosperity going into the new era that lies ahead. Now is the time for us to join our strengths and our wisdom together to build a regional community that we can be proud of before all the world.
Japan's Economic Role
Ladies and gentlemen:
Conditions for promoting peace and prosperity are very different in the Asia-Pacific region from what they are in Europe. It is therefore only natural that the paths to peace and stability and the road to development should be different in the Asia-Pacific region from what they are in Europe. It is thus up to us to find our own ways of doing things.
Accordingly, I would like, while touching upon the features characterizing the Asia-Pacific region, to explain some of my views on what Japan should do as a member of this Asia-Pacific region.
One of the main features characterizing the Asia-Pacific region is that many of the countries of the region are developing countries and that the primary interest of these countries is in economic development and social stability. As a consequence, it is most important for peace and stability that we work for economic development of the developing countries in the region and to dispel poverty and social unrest within their borders and that we strengthen our interdependence and enhance the region's resilience. I am fully aware of the need for Japan to play an even more active role in support of these efforts by the other countries of the region.
Japan will, for example, continue to seek to expand imports from the countries of the region and promote greater investment in and technology transfer to these countries, in line with the maturity of their trade structure and their stages of development. And as the necessary complement to this effort, I hope the host countries will make an even greater effort to create a climate receptive to Japanese investment and technology transfer.
I wish to state clearly that ASEAN and the rest of Asia will continue to be the priority focus for Japanese official development assistance (ODA). In implementing its ODA, Japan is trying to advance comprehensive economic cooperation responsive to the diverse development needs of the recipient countries, fully mindful of the role played by trade, investment, and technology transfer, and giving all due consideration to the different countries' responses to environmental issues. I am delighted that a number of countries of this region have successfully managed the difficult transition from aid-receiving countries to aid-giving countries.
The vitality of the Asia-Pacific region must play an important role in support of world economic growth and in the defense of the free and open trading arrangements. Given that our reliance on free and open trading arrangements is one fount of this region's vitality, the prompt and successful conclusion of the GATT Uruguay Round is not only of vital significance in the economic sphere but should be one of the top priority issues for this region. It is, after all, this region that will feel the brunt of the Uruguay Round's collapse if it should happen, and Japan is determined to make every possible effort for the Uruguay Round's success. In addition, I am pleased to see that APEC, initiated in November 1989, is already drawing upon Asia-Pacific potential and becoming an engine of stability and prosperity. Japan intends to promote such cooperation actively
More recently we have been witnessing movements in our region to step up regional cooperation yet more building on the spectacular economic advances achieved by East Asia. It was in this context that Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia explained to me the other day his initiative for an East Asian Economic Group (EAEG). It goes without saying that any regional economic cooperation in our region should, beyond anything, aim at forestalling any move towards trade protectionism and promoting cooperation open to the outside world. Bearing this in mind as the fundamentals for our cooperation we will consider appropriate ways for our regional economic cooperation.
International effort to deal with global environmental issues is becoming increasingly important. Japan, fully aware of its potential role in the creation of international frameworks and in support of the developing countries' own efforts, is determined to continue to contribute vigorously on both the financial and the technological sides. In this regard, sustainable development reconciling the dual objectives of the economy and the environment is of particular importance for Asia-Pacific development, and Japan is resolved to deal with the environmental issues in an effort to pursue these two objectives in parallel.
Japan's Political Role
Ladies and gentlemen:
Amidst these changing times in the international order, I acutely feel that Japan is expected to make even greater contributions in the Asia-Pacific region not only in the economic sphere but in the political sphere as well. As Japan goes on to play a more active political role, we should remind ourselves of how we perceive our past history.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Pacific War. At this juncture, looking back upon the first half of this century, I express our sincere contrition at Japanese past actions which inflicted unbearable sufferings and sorrows upon a great many people of the Asia-Pacific region. The Japanese people are firmly resolved never again to repeat those actions which had tragic consequences, and we have made strong efforts in the last 45 years to translate the philosophy and the resolve of living as a nation of peace into actual policies. In response to rising expectations for Japan's international contribution today, it is imperative that each Japanese think about what he or she can do to contribute to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and all the world. A prerequisite for this is that all Japanese be deeply conscious of what Japan did in the past and have a full and accurate grasp of history. To that end I am determined to step up our effort to ensure that today's young people - tomorrow's leaders - gain a full and accurate understanding of modern and contemporary Japanese history through their education in schools and in society at large.
Ladies and gentlemen:
Building upon our determination not to let history repeat itself, Japan hopes to play an appropriate role in the political sphere as a nation of peace.
Another of the outstanding features that characterizes the political climate in the Asia-Pacific region in comparison with Europe is that there are still a number of unresolved conflicts, disputes and problems, including the issue of Cambodia, the conflict on the Korean Peninsula, and the Northern Territories issue between Japan and the Soviet Union. True peace and stability cannot come to this region until these problems are resolved. Realizing this, Japan has made a positive effort to contribute to the resolution of regional conflicts and disputes, and I assure you we are determined to do even more in the future.
The Cambodian issue, which is the main outstanding issue on Indochina, has now entered the final stage of the peace process. Peace hinges upon whether or not all of the Cambodian parties will accept the comprehensive peace proposal now before them. Japan is concerned that the momentum for peace seems to have slowed this year.
One encouraging sign in all this is that the conflicting Cambodian parties accepted at the end of April the appeal for a voluntary cease-fire. Japan highly appreciates the dedicated efforts of Mr. Ali Alatas, Foreign Minister of Indonesia and co-chairman of the Paris Conference, who issued the appeal with French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, and place shigh hopes on the role of the co-chairmen.
Japan has taken a number of initiatives vis-a-vis the parties to the Cambodian conflict so as to further the peace process. We have, of late, taken every opportunity to further contacts with the various Cambodian parties. Just the day before yesterday, when the voluntary cease-fire came into effect, I personally met the leaders of the National Government of Cambodia in Bangkok and urged them to observe the cease-fire. It is vitally important, more than ever before, that the Cambodian principals themselves strike a genuine attitude of reconciliation. Japan will spare no effort to help foster a common outlook towards a political settlement between the warring parties.
Indochina has historically long been a stage for dynamic exchanges among the peoples of the region. I am convinced that only when peace and prosperity are restored to Indochina and the region engages in expanded exchanges with ASEAN will it be possible for lasting peace and prosperity to come to the whole of Southeast Asia. Japan intends to cooperate in ever yway possible so that ASEAN and Indochina can some day develop together as good partners for each other. As a first step, I am pleased to report that Japan is prepared to host an international conference on Cambodian reconstruction at an appropriate time for the purpose of future reconstruction in Cambodia and all of Indochina.
Ladies and gentlemen:
The Japanese people are also fervent in their desire to see peaceful unification on the Korean Peninsula. I positively appreciate the normalization of relations between the Republic of Korea and the Soviet Union and the continuing exchanges between North and South as contributing to peace and stability on the Peninsula, and I hope that the suspended North-South dialogue will be resumed and will see substantive progress to consolidate this trend further. This January, Japan entered into negotiations to normalize relations with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and I assure you that, acting on the premise of preserving and furthering our friendly relations with the Republic of Korea as a country sharing the fundamental values of freedom and democracy, we intend to advance these negotiations in such a way as contributes to peace and stability on the Peninsula.
At the same time, we recognize that it is extremely important for regional stability and prosperity that China maintain its policy of reform and openness in all areas and develop in a stable climate. As such, Japan intends to cooperate as much as possible with China's efforts for modernization based upon the policy of reform and openness, and I myself hope to visit China as soon as possible this year.
Likewise, all of the countries of this region are very much interested in Soviet policy toward the region. Japan, as you know, still has the dispute on the four Northern Islands with the Soviet Union that prevents us from concluding the Peace Treaty. Nevertheless, I trust that the Joint Communique which came out of the intense discussions that I held with President Gorbachev when he visited Japan recently as the first Soviet leader ever to visit Japan - a document that for the very first time clearly identified the Habomais, Shikotan, Kunashiri, Etorofu as the object of the territorial issue to be resolved in the Peace Treaty - will provide new momentum for new progress in Japanese-Soviet relations. A fundamental improvement of Japanese-Soviet relations is not only important to our two countries, it is also significant in the broader and long-term context of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan intends to continue working to achieve true normalization and dramatic progress in Japanese-Soviet relations at the earliest date. I welcome the fact that the Soviet Union is playing a role in international efforts on Cambodia and to improve the situation on the Korean Peninsula in line with its "new thinking" diplomacy, and I believe it is precisely through its constructive efforts for the resolution of such specific regional issues that the Soviet Union can come to be accepted as a responsible partner in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ladies and gentlemen:
The recent Gulf Crisis was a time of reflection and a time for all Japanese to consider seriously through what specific means Japan, as a nation of peace, can and should take part in the efforts to maintain world peace. Televised into our living rooms, the scenes of fighting in the Gulf were a vivid demonstration of what can happen when a country imports far more arms than it legitimately needs to defend itself and when there is an excessive arms export race.
As a nation of peace, Japan has consistently adhered to the three non-nuclear principles since the end of World War II and to a rigorous stance of refraining from arms exports for more than two decades in accordance with the three principles on the non-export of arms. Japan thus intends to make its own contributions to helping the world learn from the lessons of the Gulf Crisis and to make whatever progress is possible toward disarmament and arms control.
Accordingly, Japan has recently called upon the international community to coordinate and strengthen the international framework for non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, to enhance transparency and openness through, for example, establishing a system of reporting arms transfers to the United Nations, and to consider coordinating and strengthening the arrangements regarding voluntary exports restraints by the arms-exporting countries. This May, a United Nations Conference on disarmament issues will be convened in Kyoto at Japanese initiative, and I believe it is of no small significance that Japan - an economic and technological power - should continue to make such efforts as a nation of peace. In a similar vein, I also recently announced in the Diet that military expenditures, weapons exports and imports, and other factors would be adequately taken into consideration in our ODA to the developing countries.
While the Japanese contribution in the wake of the Gulf Crisis has been mainly in financial terms, the question posed to us is whether or not we can truly fulfill our responsibilities with financial cooperation alone to ensure the maintenance of peace and stability in the international community as a whole. Japan thus is determined to make personnel contributions an important part of our cooperation for peace. With emphasis on personnel cooperation in our contribution to the post Gulf War situation, we have dispatched experts to help with restoring the environment damaged by the war in the region. We are also actively proceeding with the preparation to provide a political officer to the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission and to provide expert participation in the work of the United Nations Special Commission on the Destruction of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles. A large number of mines that remain in the northern Persian Gulf are another issue, and we recognize the urgency of ensuring safe navigation in these waters. Under these circumstances, Japan has very recently decided to send minesweepers to the region. This action does not mean that Japan is assuming a military role in the international community and does not represent any change in Japan's basic defense policy. Rather, this decision was made after the most serious study of what Japan could do within the context of concerted international efforts for peace, and we very much intend to continue to fulfill actively our responsibilities to the international community through such cooperation for peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am well aware that the course which Japanese policy might take could well spark concerns among some of our Asian neighbors that Japan might once more be embarking on a path to a military power. Yet I would remind you that the vast majority of Japanese are peace-loving people who detest the thought of war. I note further that civilian control is firmly established within the Japanese system.
Since the war, Japan has dedicated itself to a purely defensive posture under our peace constitution and vowed never again to become a military power such as might pose a threat to other countries. We have been striving to ensure our own security through firmly maintaining the security arrangements with the United States, and through acquiring a moderate self-defense capability. Building on the lessons of history, Japan will adhere firmly to the philosophy befitting a nation of peace.
I would like to emphasize here that the issues of peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region cannot be realistically discussed without a U.S. role. The recent Gulf Crisis has shown how important it is that United States continue to have the capability and the will to maintain peace and order globally. We recognize that the U.S. presence is also crucial in the Asia-Pacific region; it is an important stabilizing factor not only in the military sense but in the political sense as well. Realizing this, I strongly hope that the United States will continue to play a positive role as an active Pacific power for peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The security arrangements which we maintain with the United States provide an important framework for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. I am convinced that the maintenance and development of the solid Japan-U.S. cooperation based on this vital security relationship will be of even greater importance than today to the Asia-Pacific community as it continues its dynamic development.
5. A Mature Japan-ASEAN Partnership
Ladies and gentlemen:
Noting that the Asia-Pacific region is characterized first by many of the countries of the region having a strong interest in economic development and social stability, and second, unlike Europe, by the existence of such yet unresolved conflicts and disputes as the North-South conflict on the Korean Peninsula, the problem of Cambodia, and the territorial issue between Japan and the Soviet Union, I have tried thus far to outline the positive contribution that Japan intends to make both politically and economically for long-term stability in the region.
Yet there is one more feature that characterizes the Asia-Pacific region - that of diversity. Whereas there is major momentum toward political and economic integration in Europe as epitomized by the European Community, the Asia-Pacific region is moving in pursuit of economic interdependence based upon recognition of the political, social, cultural, and economic differences among the countries in the region.
Within this, ASEAN has achieved great success it rightly should be proud of in its ambitious and courageous effort to forge cooperation among countries with different systems, different religions, and different cultural heritages. Indeed, the ASEAN countries have provided a model of economic development by their blossoming nation-building efforts, and the creative entrepreneurship and hard work in the free-market system.
Japan has long made ASEAN a central focus of its foreign policy and worked for closer cooperative relations with your countries in all fields. Thus we share in your pride at ASEAN's development.
And with the changes in the international situation, I believe that ASEAN, having grown far stronger than ever before, is ready to set new and loftier goals for itself and to move for still-closer and more diversified cooperation. I believe that Japan and ASEAN are becoming mature partners able to look seriously at what we can do for Asia-Pacific peace and prosperity and to think and act together for our shared goals.
Building upon the long years of dialogue between Japan and ASEAN, we are now able to speak frankly to each other in both the economic and political spheres. Along with continuing to work to create a climate conducive to candid dialogue in all areas, I intend to make a concerted effort for greater cooperation in all fields.
It is the firm mutual trust between Japan and the ASEAN countries at all levels that underlies and supports this mature partnership between Japan and ASEAN. It is now more than 10 years since the importance of heart-to-heart contacts was noted, and there have been many exchange programs between us achieving considerable success in promoting mutual understanding and mutual trust between the Japanese and ASEAN peoples. Yet I know that it is impossible to eliminate the residual misunderstanding and prejudice on both sides all at once, and that is why I believe it is so important that each and every person involved in the greatly expanded opportunities for interaction between our peoples make every effort to create relations of personal contacts among individuals and relations based upon good-faith efforts by all of us as human beings. Never before has it been so important that we do everything we can to ensure that the trust between Japan and the ASEAN countries is truly unshakable.
Ladies and gentlemen:
The tide of international affairs toward cooperation and concert is gaining new strength throughout the Asia-Pacific region. And it is essential that we continue to work to ensure that this tide is irreversible. We are working for an Asia-Pacific world of creativity with each learning from the others' political, economic, cultural, and other diversity. We are seeking to be open to the rest of the international community and to have our own dynamism impart new vitality to the rest of the world. Let us go forth; let those vows of Japan-ASEAN cooperation made over the past two decades come into their own; and let us work together to create such a regional community. In short, let us dedicate ourselves anew to the goal of creating better and deserving lives for all of our people in an Asia-Pacific region rich in peace and prosperity. It is, I believe, through such cooperation that we will delineate one path to the new world order that we and all the international community so earnestly desire.
(3) Address by Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu at the United Nations Kyoto Conference on Disarmament
(May 27, 1991, Kyoto, Japan)
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the Government of Japan, it gives me a great pleasure to address this United Nations Kyoto Conference on Disarmament. As one who proposed the holding of a U.N.-sponsored disarmament conference in Japan, I am especially delighted that this conference is convening here in Kyoto. Let me take this opportunity to extend the warmest of welcomes to you all.
(I. Changes in the International Environment)
In the last few years the world has witnessed two upheavals of historic, monumental consequence, upheavals giving cause for both bright hope and dark concern. On the one hand, relations between East and West have shown fundamental improvement. On the other, however, we have witnessed the eruption of military hostilities in the Persian Gulf.
In particular, the last two years have seen the nations of Eastern Europe make substantial gains in their struggle to democratize and adopt free-market economic principles. The fall of the Berlin Wall augured the reunification of Germany, while last year's Charter of Paris formally marked the end of East-West confrontation. On the arms control and disarmament front, the CFE Treaty has been concluded between NATO and Warsaw Pact nations. The U.S.-Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction Talks are now exploring various new avenues for compromise that will make possible the conclusion of a treaty.
By helping to transcend the thinking of the Cold-War era, this positive shift aroused in people all over the world a fresh sense of hope for the future. However, that emerging optimism was dealt a bitter blow by Iraq's brutal invasion of Kuwait. Fortunately, the cooperative turn in U.S.-Soviet relations remained unshaken in dealing with the Gulf Crisis. That factor, not to mention the courageous efforts of the multinational force and the united backing it received from U.N. member nations, including Japan, ultimately helped bring the crisis back under control. Now the search is under way for new strategies that will ensure true peace and security in the Middle East.
These two momentous international developments have reinforced my conviction that mankind has reached a historic threshold beyond which the paradigms of conventional East-West and North-South dualism no longer suffice for an adequate understanding of international relationships. The fundamental change in East-West relations and the Gulf conflagration have, it appears to me, brought into sharply clearer focus the issues we must together address and solve if the world is to enjoy real peace in the coming century. Arms control and disarmament are one such issue, with political confrontation or conflict another. I want, here, first to discuss arms control and disarmament, in terms of the issues I believe the world must resolve in this final decade of the twentieth century.
(II. Forces Influencing the Arms Control and Disarmament Process)
The remarkable recent changes in the international environment are having a tremendous impact on the substance of arms control and disarmament policy. Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, in fact, contributed to a clearer understanding of the shape that the arms control and disarmament process should take in the post-Cold War era.
Political scientists and historians alike will, doubtless, give us a number of vastly difficult accounts of the key underlying factors and processes leading up to the Gulf Crisis. However, the events are approached, one thing is clear; the blame must be facilely pinned on Iraq's military buildup alone; a variety of factors were undoubtedly at work.
No one will, I believe, dispute the statement that aggression is the result of a choice made by people, not weaponry. It is also generally true that a nation will not opt for aggression, unless it has a certain measure of confidence that its machinations will succeed. At the same time, the odds of victory clearly depend very greatly on a gap in the aggressor's and victim's levels of military capability. The highly volatile military imbalance characterizing the Gulf region in recent years stemmed from none other than the enormous Iraqi military buildup. It took Iraq's tanks less than two days to overrun Kuwait. Even the U.N.-authorized multinational force later deployed to liberate Kuwait had to operate in the face of Iraq's stated, and very real, threat that it would use its chemical arsenal if attacked, not to mention the possibility that it also possessed nuclear weapons, however crude.
International arms transfer, access to weapons-related technologies, and arms proliferation together enabled Iraq to build an enormous military machine far exceeding any realistic self-defense needs. To prevent the emergence of a second, or third, Iraq, I firmly believe a concerted effort by the international community is urgently needed to seriously address the disarmament issues of foremost importance; namely, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile systems and the international transfer of conventional weapons. To be sure, most disarmament discussion to date has been framed largely within the context of East-West polarity. The recent crisis in the Gulf, however, has underlined once again the fact that many other crucial issues cannot be adequately gauged or dealt with using such an approach.
The second point I wish to emphasize is that the Gulf Crisis has made us even more acutely aware of bow important progress in East-West arms control negotiations continue to be. It was extremely encouraging that throughout the crisis, the United States and the Soviet Union succeeding in sustaining the spirit of close coordination that they did in U.N. deliberations and elsewhere. Their doing so, however, contributed to broader recognition of the importance of stable East-West relations in the face of an international emergency. In recent years U.S.-Soviet arms control talks have functioned as a catalyst for improved relations, not only between those two superpowers, but between the nations of Western and Eastern Europe at large. Even with the Gulf hostilities now behind us, efforts to find early agreement in the START negotiations and to faithfully implement the CFE Treaty must move forward. It would be impossible to over-stress the importance of preventing these and other initiatives in the East-West arms control process from losing steam.
My third point is that arms control and disarmament are fundamental issues of global significance that should be dealt with by the world community, and decidedly not by only a few major nations. Obviously, countries which strive to build military arsenals beyond anything that could reasonably be needed for their defense threaten to extend the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. However, we cannot expect to solve this problem simply by criticizing the behavior of the customer alone. We should also question the behavior of the nations which supply weapons and related technologies. In that sense, the Gulf Crisis has perhaps helped to place in clearer perspective the interacting responsibility each of us has to promote the disarmament process.
(III. The Substantive Task of Arms Control and Disarmament Following the Gulf Crisis)
In keeping with this awareness of the problems, I intend to pursue policies on arms control and disarmament that place the emphasis on two key areas.
First, we have to make every effort to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and missile systems. Japan, as the only country which had suffered the nuclear devastation, is of the view that conditions should not be allowed to develop that could lead to any repetition of the past horrors of nuclear devastation. It, therefore, seeks thee limination of nuclear weapons as an ultimate goal and is moving in various ways to promote progress in this direction. Our proposal of a step-by-step approach to the issue of a nuclear test ban is one such effort. Steps should also be taken to strengthen the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to ensure that the ranks of the nuclear-weapon states do not increase. The history of the NPT has not been an unqualified success as a considerable number of nations have yet to sign the Treaty. Moreover, in recent years, some of its signatories have been lax about fulfilling their obligations while others are even rumored to be developing nuclear devices.
Differing security environments and perceptions regarding nuclear weaponry in general are often the basis for rejection or criticism of the NPT. While bearing that in mind, and in the interests of facilitating universal acceptance for the Treaty itself, I have personally sought, time and again, to persuade the leaders of non-member countries to reconsider. I have followed this course out of my conviction that the NPT is essential to the task of maintaining world peace and security. Japan intends to draw on the lessons it learned from its peaceful use of nuclear energy, as it continues encouraging non-member countries to the NPT to reconsider their position.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has established a safeguards system to help it ensure compliance with the NPT. As the core framework for enforcement, the safeguards system is to be given the credit for the impressive success the IAEA has shown to date in ensuring treaty compliance. However, recent events in the Gulf have intensified our awareness of the need for improvements to this system, and of steps to strengthen the NPT regime in general. It is, thus, Japan's position that international action is needed to bring about technical and policy improvements that will help the IAEA's safeguard mechanism perform its assigned role more effectively and efficiently.
To assist in this undertaking, Japan has already given attention to the question of improving IAEA safeguards. First, it believes serious study should be directed to the possibility of utilizing special inspections as a means of enhancing the safeguard system's efficiency. Secondly, and in the interests of maximizing the effectiveness of the IAEA's limited resources, steps should be taken to establish a more flexible system of safeguard implementation, for instance, by reviewing the frequency of inspections and tailoring them to suit specific circumstances. Japan would like to present concrete proposals based on these perspectives in future IAEA forums.
It is regrettable that some States Parties to the NPT have failed to comply with the treaty obligation to conclude a safeguard agreement with the IAEA. Their failure to do so cannot but threaten to damage the ties of mutual trust with other NPT states. In fact, it could quite easily undermine the Treaty's authority in general. In view of these dangers, Japan strongly urges early action to rectify this state of affairs.
In 1995, an important conference will be held to decide the future of the NPT. As a State Party, Japan intends to work for universal acceptance of the Treaty and work to strengthen its effectiveness. Japan is of the position that the Treaty should be extended into the next century.
As regards the goal of non-proliferation of chemical weapons, it is of primary importance that on-going negotiations on the Chemical Weapons Convention lead to agreement soon. I find it significant that several countries have already taken the initiative by urging that ministerial meetings be held at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, the objective being to inject fresh political momentum into the negotiation process. The recommendations recently made by Australia's Foreign Minister Evans deserve special attention in this context. Yet, for these initiatives to bear fruit, it is crucial that certain preconditions be met so that the problems may be resolved at the political decision-making level. In other words, the negotiation process must first show significant headway on a specifically defined range of key issues on which there is most disagreement. The new U.S. position on chemical weapons recently announced by President Bush could mark a turning point in negotiations on the Chemical Weapons Convention. Very serious efforts should be made in the next round of negotiations to discover areas where compromise is possible. Japan will strive to do all that it can to promote a breakthrough on key issues before the year's end.
During the Gulf Crisis, there existed the very real threat that Iraq might resort to the use of its chemical arsenal. That danger served to reinforce the view throughout the international community that chemical weapons must be banned. It is strongly hoped that participants in the treaty negotiations in Geneva will take note of this heightened international concern and move forward in their task with a rekindled sense of purpose. In contrast to the recent achievements of undertakings in arms control and disarmament at the bilateral and regional level, little success has been seen in the multilateral arena. The signing of a Chemical Weapons Convention would, thus, be seen as an outstanding break through and give fresh encouragement to the many nations that have long called for progress in the multilateral disarmament arena. It is our firm hope that the signing of such an accord is not very far off.
Japan is an enthusiastic participant in the Australia Group, a forum for export restrictions on materials used in the manufacture of chemical weapons. In view of the important role the Group has played in efforts to prevent the spread of chemical armaments, Japan desires to help it to make its activities yet more effective.
Missiles are a means of increasing yet further the offensive capability of weapons of mass destruction. It is now strongly realized that missiles, too, must be prevented from proliferating. The terror that Iraqi Scud missiles caused among the populations of neighboring states is still fresh in our memory.
In March, a conference of what is known as the Missile Technology Control Regime was convened in Tokyo. The participants in this gathering reaffirmed the need for yet more stringent controls on the export of missile-related materials and technologies. Further, and in line with a Japanese initiative, they issued a joint appeal for nations worldwide to adopt clear guidelines on such exports. I view this cooperative effort as an extremely timely development. Japan is committed to an active role in preventing the proliferation of missile systems. As part of that effort, it intends to continue urging that nations possessing key missile technologies introduce stringent export controls.
The U.N. Security Council resolution that established the formal cease-fire in the Gulf Crisis also calls for the elimination of Iraq's stocks of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, and also the creation of a Special Commission to implement this task. Desiring to contribute to this international effort in ridding the Gulf region of these formidable weapons of mass destruction, Japan has sent a leading Japanese chemical weapons expert to participate in the Commission's activities, which we shall continue to support in every way possible. I should add that I am committed to the goal of halting completely the spread of such highly lethal weapons. Moreover, I am determined to make every effort to help ensure that the international community never again has to face, as it did during the Gulf Crisis, the threat of the use of such weapons, and to prevent any circumstances that might ultimately demand the establishment of similar U.N. Commissions.
The lessons of the recent Gulf Crisis indicate that the international transfer of conventional weapons is the second key issue we must address. That task demands that we strive earnestly to expand discussion on the substantive shape of a practical response.
The flow of conventional weapons is a problem that has been with us for quite some time. Past efforts to impose controls on this activity have been characterized by frustrated efforts. We must, also admit that broad regional differences of opinion exist on this issue. This disparity of viewpoints stems from the fact that in a world where military strength is valued for its deterrent effect, while military balance is seen as essential for security. It is in recognition of such a situation that Article 51 of the United Nations Charter proclaims self-defense to be a right of nation states. Therefore, within reasonable limits, arms procurements are considered necessary and entirely proper.
Bearing in mind the complexity of the issues surrounding the international transfer of conventional weapons, Japan is determined to adopt the following approach toward a general solution.
First, we will work for enhanced levels of transparency and openness in the international trade in arms. The lack of reliable data on the arms trade is a factor that tends to make for distrust among nations. Not only would more open and accurate information contribute to enhanced trust, it would also serve as a solid basis for meaningful discussion on the arms trade. In the light of this situation, it is, thus, extremely important that a U.N. Study Group is now exploring the possibility of introducing new levels of transparency and openness into arms transfers. Japan, too, is actively participating in this undertaking, supplying a Japanese expert as a member of the Study Group.
Once the group has presented its report to the U.N. General Assembly scheduled to convene this autumn, Japan plans to submit a draft resolution to the General Assembly calling for improved levels of candor in the international trade in conventional arms. Regarding practical measures, study should be devoted to ways and means of adopting a framework for the submission to the U.N. of data concerning arms trade that can be accepted and implemented by the largest possible number of states. Japan will cooperate fully with the United Nations in efforts to put into effect such a reporting system. Furthermore, should the need arise, we are also prepared to cooperate to the best of our ability in upgrading and expanding the U.N. Disarmament Bureaus database system designed to process information including one related to the arms transfer.
Second, it is imperative that all nations consider establishing or strengthening their own domestic frameworks for self-restraint in the export of conventional arms. I have taken every opportunity to make this point personally to the leaders of the major arms-exporting countries. Supplier countries should manage their arms export policies in such a manner as to prevent the emergence of a purchaser country building a far greater military machine than is necessary for its defense and thereby creating a military imbalance in a region. Of course, I am also aware of the view that the export of arms calls for international regulatory controls, not simply independent attempts at self-restraint. However, as I sought to suggest earlier when referring to the problems facing countries which have to import weapons for their own defense, there exists the danger that in the longer term, international regulatory controls on exports could in fact lead to proliferation of the capacity to manufacture weapons. Seen in the light, national efforts at self-restraint seem to be the most realistic and sensible place to start. Admittedly, some countries might conceivably seize the opportunity to expand their share of the international arms market by filling a vacuum created by others which have adopted stronger measures of self-restraint. Establishing an environment that encourages the maximum number of nations to institute export controls is, therefore, of the utmost importance.
From the point of view of ensuring global peace and security, the U.N. Security Council's permanent members' share of the task of solving the problems posed by the trade in conventional arms will be particularly great. Japan is pleased to accept its share of this global task. It has, in fact, strictly controlled arms exports on the basis of its so-called Three Principles on Arms Exports for more than two decades.
Weapons purchases above and beyond national security needs, particularly in the case of developing nations, will prove a very great burden and an obstacle to social and economic development. In principle, economic development strategies are a domestic matter to be decided on by each country independently, and, decidedly, not something to be dictated by outsiders. However, recent developments in the Gulf have refocused attention, all over the world, on the need for heightened international efforts addressing the issue of military strength, arms control, and disarmament in developing nations.
Recently, Japan elaborated to the international community on Japan's approach to economic assistance to the developing world, that addresses the above concerns, placing emphasis on humanitarian aid and the goal of mutual interdependence. In providing assistance within this framework, Japan will consider various trends and activities in each recipient nation, while bearing in mind the national security circumstances they face. Attention will focus, for example, on trends in military spending, efforts to develop or manufacture weapons of mass destruction, and activities in the arms trade. It is my hope that these policies will encourage nations throughout the developing world to assume a more active role in the international quest for disarmament.
To present the Japanese position on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, international transfer of conventional weapons, and other key issues of arms control and disarmament, Foreign Minister Nakayama will be addressing at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on June 6. I am hopeful that his participation will result in new opportunities for Japan to strengthen its cooperative links with other nations in the dialogue of disarmament.
(IV. Addressing the Costs of Disarmament)
In forging a response to the challenges of arms control and disarmament, most nations have to date typically concentrated on such factors as the adequacy of proposed arms reduction or the substance of verification procedures. Today, however, as hopes for the success of such disarmament endeavors soar, broad study must also be devoted to addressing the associated costs, if they are to be successfully implemented.
My view is that we must pay particular attention to the costs to the environment. The processes involved in destroying nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons pose the risk of releasing a variety of toxic substances into the natural environment. Managing such risks will be no easy task. The disposal of these weapons, thus, demands very exacting levels of caution.
Warfare and the environment is yet another issue that has received considerable attention. In the recent Gulf Crisis, Iraq unleashed an unforgivable, brutal assault on the natural environment. By discharging crude oil into the waters of the Persian Gulf and setting Kuwait's vast oil field ablaze, Iraq has caused untold damage to the delicate ecological balance of the Gulf region.
Japan is actively engaged in helping to clean up and minimize some of the environmental destruction. For example, it has dispatched survey and disaster relief teams to the region, has supplied oil booms, oil absorbent, oil skimmers and oil skimming vessels, to help deal with the emergency oil spills, and has extended financial assistance for the international organizations concerned.
(V. The Need for a Comprehensive Approach)
Effectively implementing and ensuring long-term compliance with arms control and disarmament policies, including ones that address the proliferation of weapons of mass-destruction or the international transfer of conventional weapons, demands that nations everywhere strive in earnest to eradicate mutual distrust and resolve their political differences. One must never forget that unless they do this, there will never be an end to their pursuit of military readiness, including the purchase of arms, and the atmosphere of confrontation this creates. Within that context, I would now like to discuss the importance of resolving political differences and conflict, dealing first with the Middle East, which became the stage for the recent Gulf Crisis, and then with the Asia-Pacific region.
Now that Kuwait has been liberated, no one who is serious about achieving peace and security in the Middle East would fail to address the Palestinian issue and other problems of the regional peace process. Indeed, in the common interest of building a lasting peace in this region, I am convinced that all concerned must surmount mutual distrust, overcome their differences, and work together in earnest to make real progress in resolving these issues.
Toward that goal, U.S. Secretary of State Baker has met repeatedly with leaders throughout the region, striving to gain acceptance for the U.S. proposals regarding the holding of a Middle East peace conference. Japan's position is that a fair, comprehensive, and lasting peace must be established for the region in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 and 338. We, therefore, enthusiastically support the U.S. initiatives in this regard.
Japan has expanded its political dialogue with the nations of the region, seeking to explore new avenues for a lasting peace. It will continue these efforts and seek the support of governments in the region for a peace process based on mutual trust. Foreign Minister Nakayama is making this position clear during his visits to Egypt and Israel. He is also conveying my own firm conviction that leaders throughout the region should take advantage of every opportunity to improve the chances for conciliation, putting aside differences to the greatest extent possible, and be more amenable to compromise.
The Asia-Pacific region, too, is characterized by a number of unsettled disputes, confrontations and conflicts. For example, Japan and the Soviet Union have not yet reached agreement on the issues related to Japan's Northern Territories, the Korean Peninsula is still divided between North and South, and civil war continues unabated in Cambodia. Japan is now engaged in vigorous diplomatic efforts to foster desirable change and help create a fresh international atmosphere permanently free of the division and strife that have plagued this region for so long. As things stand, the complex geopolitical factors and military dynamics that shape relations within the region today would clearly seem to call for a fresh diplomatic initiative designed to clear the air of the mistrust blocking improved ties between the region's major countries. In fact, this would seem to be an essential precondition for substantive talks on arms control and disarmament issues. Such an initiative, however, calls for continued bilateral and other efforts for enhancing mutual confidence. Such efforts would be a major first step toward the creation of a favorable Asian security environment. It is, moreover, conceivable that efforts to start this process would prove meaningful on a more localized regional scale.
On the occasion of the recent visit to Japan of Soviet President Gorbachev, Japan and the Soviet Union reaffirmed that the Asia-Pacific region needs to enhance mutual confidence and emphasized the importance of wide-ranging dialogues on various questions, including the issues relating to peace and economic prosperity between our two countries. Without question, a marked expansion of bilateral contacts would very greatly benefit both Japan and the Soviet Union, indeed of great importance to both. At the same time, it would also have broad, long-term implications for the future of peace and prosperity region-wide.
If the Cold-War legacy on the divided Korean Peninsula is to be surmounted, there must be substantial new efforts for dialogue and exchange on the part of Korean states. Japan will continue to do its utmost to help create an environment conducive to fresh and constructive dialogue between the two Koreas. As part of this effort, the recently initiated normalization talks between Japan and North Korea promise eventually to ease tensions and contribute to peace and stability on the Peninsula. Japan will, therefore, continue these negotiations, also maintaining close contact and coordination with South Korea and other nations concerned.
Stability in the Asia-Pacific region also depends immensely on stable development of China through sustained application in each field of its reform and openness policy. Our policy is to support, in principle, the direction that China is now moving in and offer it our fullest cooperation to ensure that there will be no setbacks in the reforms and advances posted thus far.
With regard to Cambodia, Japan has made untold efforts to help bring about a comprehensive and early peace settlement. Last year, for instance, Japan held a special conference in Tokyo to discuss the problems facing Cambodia and to provide the warring Cambodian factions with a forum for meaningful steps toward conciliation. In a policy speech I gave in Singapore during my recent official tour of ASEAN countries, I proposed the hosting by Japan of an international conference on Cambodian reconstruction once a peaceful settlement to the civil war is reached.
Determined efforts to promote and build on political dialogue can help Asia overcome the stifling legacy of confrontation and regional conflict. It is my firm conviction that once this goal has been achieved, the tide of cooperation will have gained a permanent and pervasive foothold throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
(VI. Closing Remarks)
Arms-control and disarmament represent but one facet of the larger issues of war and peace and national security. In my address today, I myself have sought to underscore the need for a comprehensive approach to the solution of political issues between nation states. Arms are the symbols and instruments of violence and destruction, so it is natural that all who desire peace should see efforts to attain disarmament as the inevitable corollary of that desire. With the Cold War receding and the Gulf Crisis ended, the shared desire of the world's people for disarmament is ever more keen. For precisely this reason, I am strongly hopeful that this Kyoto Conference, a gathering of the world's leading authorities on arms control and disarmament, will provide opportunities for policy breakthroughs that promise to fulfill our dreams.
(4) Statement by Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama at the Conference on Disarmament
(Geneva, June 6, 1991)
It is a great pleasure for me to have the honor of addressing the Conference on Disarmament, a forum with a distinguished history.
First of all, on behalf of the Japanese Government, I should like to take this opportunity to express my high respect for our President, Ambassador Soles by, under whose excellent leadership, backed up by her brilliance and rich experience, we are meeting here today. I should also like to express my high respect for all the distinguished delegates at this Conference, for their important and painstaking efforts in trying to bring the world closer to the achievement of our disarmament goals.
Attending this Conference, I cannot but help recall the time seven years ago when, in the same month of June Mr. Shintaro Abe, whom I respect as a senior statesman and diplomat of Japan, attended and addressed this Conference as the first Foreign Minister of Japan to do so.
I have two reasons for mentioning this. First, former Minister Abe, whose untimely decease was regretted by many in Japan, and I used to share a deep understanding and beliefs on various matters related to arms control and disarmament. Having assumed my present post in August 1989, I have been directing the conduct of Japan's foreign policy in these years of drastically changing world relationships. I have visited various nations and discussed with many world leaders the problems related to the future direction of mankind. Through such talks I have endeavoured to promote world peace, arms control and disarmament as contribution in these fields is one of Japan's basic foreign policy objectives. At the same time, I have become even more convinced of the importance of these objectives. Therefore, it has been my strong desire to have an opportunity to come here and attend this Conference in order to share ideas with you.
The second reason for recalling the visit of former Minister Abe arises from the striking contrast between the world of 1984 and the present. On the one hand, when we look back at the past seven years, the extent of the changes that took place in international relations which indeed surpassed anybody's imagination, becomes apparent. On the other hand, it becomes clear that peace and disarmament were matters of urgent concern in 1984 as well as today. When we take into account these two aspects, the future direction of arms control and disarmament may become discernible.
With respect to international relations, the year 1984 found itself in the midst of severe tension between East and West, between the United States and the Soviet Union. Reflecting this situation, arms control and disarmament efforts were bound to meet with frustration, despair and grave concerns. Then, as is well known, the latter half of the eighties witnessed the beginning of a change in East-West relations in part due to changes in the Soviet Union, after the arrival of President Gorbachev on the political stage. The change in East-West relations has been dramatically accelerated in the past year or two by such events as the democratization of East European states and the crumbling of the Berlin Wall that symbolized "the iron curtain," whose fall led to the unification of Germany and the signing of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. The change that took place was truly historical and epoch-making. Furthermore, the Gulf Crisis that broke out under such changing international relations has demonstrated how the international community, centered around the United Nations and assisted by the cooperative relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, can successfully and unanimously deal with an aggressor state. This example may herald the beginning of a new era in the international political sphere.
Every transitional period in history is accompanied by the predominant factors of instability, uncertainty and the lack of transparency which arise out of the breakdown of the old framework and the complex interplay of old and new forces. Unfortunately, this common fact seems to be present also at this time of history. In the field of arms control and disarmament, the change in East-West political relations has borne a fruit in the form of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. However, it is a fact that in the course of half a year after the signing of the treaty up to the recent agreement concerning its implementation at the U.S.-Soviet foreign ministerial meeting, the process for its ratification has been complicated and delayed due to some important issues that had arisen. Similarly, the START negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union, after entering into the final stage, are hanging uncertainly with regard to the timing of their conclusion. In addition, the experience of the Gulf Crisis clearly has demonstrated to all of us the need for urgent and serious arms control and disarmament efforts in two areas. The non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles is one such area, although this is an area where efforts have already been made to some extent in the past. The international transfer of conventional arms is another such area, however, where no concrete steps have been taken in the past in spite of repeated discussions on the matter from various angles.
Other serious issues requiring solution have also emerged in connection with the implementation of disarmament measures. For example, what should be done about the question of the transfer of arms from one region to another as a result of the disarmament arrangements in the former region? What are the security implications of such transfer to the latter region? What about the ecological problems resulting from the destruction of chemical weapons?
Thus, we find ourselves in the midst of a transitional period where sweeping changes in international relations are taking place. Achievements in the arms control and disarmament field, facilitated by such changes in international relations, have to be made irreversible and pushed further ahead. Unaccomplished tasks left over from the past should be brought up in order to find solutions in the new context. It is a time when all the persistent and indefatigable efforts on our part are required for that purpose.
Precisely for this reason, I believe that the role of the Conference on Disarmament has become more important than ever before, and that the world's expectations for this forum have risen to new heights.
Here in Geneva, one may have to recall the fact that the Conference on Disarmament, in contrast to its productive years in the sixties and seventies, has failed to produce a single disarmament treaty in recent years. On the other hand, it is also a fact that in these same years an epoch-making endeavour has been made assiduously in order to draw up a chemical weapons prohibition convention. This endeavour is truly epoch-making as the convention is to be equipped with a strict and complex verification regime and the negotiations are in fact approaching the final stage. Now that the Cold War which could have had delayed the negotiations, is becoming a thing of the past, the time is ripe for new achievements. The goal must be achievable and should be achieved. If and when we succeed in concluding a multilateral disarmament convention with the active participation of developing states, the accomplishment will have no less significance than the recently concluded bilateral and regional disarmament agreements. This accomplishment would also be a significant instrument in bridging the perception gap between developed and developing nations with regard to the approach and the progress of disarmament process. In this sense, the Conference on Disarmament is now being challenged to prove its raison d'etre.
I should now like to take up the question of weapons of mass destruction with which the work of the Conference on Disarmament is closely linked. Considering the time and the place, it would be only natural to begin with the problems of chemical weapons upon which I have already touched.
More than sixty years have passed since the use of chemical weapons was banned by the Geneva Protocol, and more than twenty years since chemical weapons became a subject of this forum. Precisely when the negotiations to eliminate these inhumane weapons appeared to be approaching the final stage, the Gulf Crisis broke out. The threat of the use of these very weapons by Iraq heightened the desire of the international community for an early conclusion of the convention to a level never reached before. It is now imperative to conclude the long-standing negotiations as early as possible, without losing the momentum created by the Gulf Crisis. I sincerely hope that all the delegates here will make all-out efforts for this purpose.
In this connection, the latest forthcoming position of the United States announced by President Bush represented a courageous undertaking aimed at global elimination of chemical weapons. Japan heartily welcomes this initiative.
I am aware that there are some proposals for the Conference on Disarmament to be convened at the ministerial level in order to give political impetus to the negotiations. Basically, I am in agreement with the idea because this may be the way to achieve breakthrough in some of the pending important issues and to expedite the negotiations. However, such a ministerial conference would not be able to achieve its expected objectives unless issues requiring political solutions are sufficiently narrowed down and crystallized, paving the way for appropriate political settlements. As for myself, I will be willing to attend such a ministerial conference and do my best, if all the delegates here, who are top disarmament negotiators of respective nations, prepare the grounds with utmost care and if they ask for such a ministerial level exercise by consensus.
With regard to this, I should like to make a proposal. Perhaps we should consider convening a meeting in Geneva at the level of high officials from nations' capitals. This may become appropriate at a certain advanced stage of the negotiating efforts. Such a meeting at the level of high officials, possibly before the end of this year, may help in moving the negotiations a step further and help in the planning of a ministerial conference.
Of course, whatever the level of a meeting or a conference may be, it would be difficult or even unrealistic to try to draw up a convention that would be 100% satisfactory to all the states parties. Therefore, in putting forward my proposal I should like to urge all states to demonstrate a spirit of compromise to the maximum extent, fully realizing the ultimate goals of the convention. This would be indispensable for an early conclusion of the negotiations.
In conjunction with the new moves as I have just mentioned which are meant to facilitate breakthroughs in the negotiations, it would be important for the governments of states parties to the negotiations to seek understanding and cooperation from their nationals concerning this convention. Only in this way can nations ensure the smooth implementation of the convention in their territories, including effective and reasonable implementation of verification and inspection measures. For this purpose, it would also be important for governments to study and carry out practicability exercises. From this viewpoint, my government is planning for the second time to carry out a trial inspection of facilities dealing with chemicals to be limited by the convention during the current fiscal year. Through the experience and insight to be acquired in this trial inspection, we should like to make a contribution to the establishment of a reliable verification and inspection system.
I should also like to touch upon the question of the universality of the convention. Unfortunately, there is no panacea that would ensure a universal adherence to the convention. Each nation will have to accede to the convention on the basis of its political commitment to eliminate chemical weapons from the surface of the earth. In this sense, it would be important to prepare such a convention that would convince all nations that their security would be enhanced by acceding to it. With respect to those nations who still refuse to accede to the convention, it would be important to continue diplomatic efforts of persuasion and to make them realize the high costs they would have to pay by remaining outside the convention. With all the wisdom we have gathered and will gather, we must come up with a formula that will meet these requirements.
As I have been explaining, Japan is for an early conclusion of the convention and as was announced during the last session of the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, Japan will become one of the original signatory states of the convention. On this occasion, I wish to express the hope that all those states that have not done so will make similar announcements and that all the states possessing chemical weapons will make announcements admitting the fact. By doing this, we can give the convention firm ground on which to stand and build confidence in the idea of the elimination of chemical weapons.
In this connection, the task of the elimination of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons now being carried out by the United Nations Special Commission, consisting of experts from various nations of which Japan is one, is indeed a momentous task. It will serve, let us hope, as a valuable experiment upon which the future elimination of chemical weapons under the convention may be modelled. The task of the Special Commission will be full of difficult technical and financial problems, including the question of the prevention of harmful environmental effects. Japan is willing to contribute in an appropriate manner, to the carrying out of the task of the Special Commission.
I feel obliged to raise, as the next topic, the issue of nuclear weapons, of which the dangers of proliferation were brought home to our minds afresh during the Gulf Crisis. I feel obliged because, as the only nation against which atomic bombs were used, Japan has a serious interest in the non-proliferation and the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons.
As is well known, the Non-Proliferation Treaty is one of the greatest achievements having come out of this multilateral disarmament negotiating forum. Today, in order to strengthen the NPT regime, urgent efforts have to be made on two fronts, in promoting accession to the Treaty by non-states parties, and in securing full implementation of the treaty obligations. As to the first front, Japan has been making demarches to non-states parties over the years, whether they are nuclear-weapons states or not, to accede to the Treaty. In this regard, we welcome and highly regard the decision by France to accede to the NPT in principle and strongly hope that this will promote the early accession by other non-states parties to the Treaty. As to the second front, Japan intends to make concrete proposals to the IAEA and other appropriate fora to increase the effectiveness of the IAEA safeguards system because the need for its strengthening was one of the lessons we learned from the Gulf Crisis. At the same time, Japan is strongly urging one of the states parties that has not yet concluded the safeguards agreement with the IAEA to do so. Furthermore, in connection with the two-fronts efforts I have just mentioned, Japan adopted and announced a policy in early April to the effect that, in extending Official Development Assistance the trend in the recipient country of the development and production of weapons of mass destruction and missiles will be taken into account, in order to strengthen efforts to prevent the proliferation of these weapons.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, adhered to by more than 140 states, has contributed to the maintenance of peace and stability in the world. In view of the importance of the NPT regime, Japan strongly supports a substantial extension of the Treaty beyond 1995. At the same time, recalling the oft cited discrimination between nuclear weapons states and non-nuclear weapon states in this Treaty, such discrimination will have to be abolished gradually through further sincere efforts towards nuclear disarmament on the part of nuclear weapons states, gradually because it is a fact that the peace and stability of the world today still continue to rely upon deterrence and the balance of military power including nuclear weapons.
Turning to the question of a comprehensive nuclear test ban, which is one aspect of nuclear disarmament, we may recall the Fourth NPT Review Conference of last year, where arguments were made that there should be a linkage between the realization of a CTB and the extension of the NPT. What has to be taken into consideration is not only the question of a CTB, but the overall progress of nuclear disarmament. In this context, I highly value the full implementation of the INF Treaty, and strongly hope for an early conclusion of the START Treaty as well as for its further continuation in the new round of talks of U.S.-Soviet nuclear disarmament. Of equal importance is the progress towards the next stage of the U.S.-Soviet Nuclear Testing Limitation Talks. In addition, the three other nuclear weapons states, aside from the United States and the Soviet Union, may be asked to seriously address the question of nuclear disarmament. Also, I should like to remind the Conference that Foreign Minister Abe proposed in 1984 a step-by-step formula as a way to achieve a CTB. Japan continues to uphold the proposal as the most realistic choice in pursuing a CTB within the framework of overall nuclear disarmament.
In this respect, I should like to pay a high tribute to the resumption of substantive works by the Nuclear Test Ban Ad Hoc Committee that was re-established last July at the Conference on Disarmament after a seven year interval. Ambassador Donowaki of my country chaired the Ad Hoc Committee last year. This year again, I am told, the Committee is engaged in a lively in-depth discussion of the subject under the chairmanship of Ambassador Chadha of India. May I express the hope that, through such a dialogue between the nuclear weapons states and non-nuclear weapons states common understanding will be deepened. Based upon such understanding, I hope that concrete and feasible steps will be discussed in order to bring us closer to the final goals of a CTB.
I should also like to say a few words about the Ad Hoc Group of Scientific Experts of the Conference on Disarmament created for the purpose of establishing a seismic verification system that would supplement a nuclear test ban. Japan, as one of the nations with advanced seismology-related technologies including seismic detection technology, has been actively participating in, and contributing to the work of the group over the years. I have high respect for the work of the group. This year, the group is to carry out GSETT-2 - the second large scale test - of the global data exchange system as a critical test in their search for the establishment of an international detection network of underground nuclear testings. I hope that the test will meet with success. At the same time, may I express the hope that the Conference will give full consideration to the possible future tasks to be taken up by the Group of Scientific Experts.
Last week the United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues was held in the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto. The main theme of the Conference was "A Post-Cold War and Post-Gulf War International System and Challenges to Multinational Disarmament." A number of participants from both abroad and Japan, including cabinet ministers and some of the ambassadors present here, participated in lively discussions. Prime Minister Kaifu personally undertook the initiative to host the conference in Japan, attended the conference and delivered a speech. This was in realization of the renewed importance of such issues as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the international transfer of conventional weapons as a result of the Gulf Crisis. In other words, one may say that, as the East-West confrontation relaxes and as regional conflicts become less likely to be regarded as proxy conflicts between East and West, the danger of the outbreak of regional conflicts may be increasing. Under such circumstances, we have been reminded of the importance of the question of how to deal with the proliferation and transfer of weapons. I am confident that the Kyoto Conference will serve as a catalyst in stimulating arms control and disarmament discussions here at the Conference on Disarmament, as well as at the United Nations and other fora.
I should like now to take up the question of the international transfer of conventional arms which became one of the important themes at the Kyoto Conference. Japan announced in March of this year a package proposal entitled the "Japanese Near-term Responses to the Problems in the Middle East." With respect to the issue of the international transfer of conventional weapons, the proposal made clear that, first, Japan would contribute, mainly within the framework of the United Nations, to the activities related to establishing standards and rules including a reporting system to the U.N. with a view to enhancing the transparency and openness of arms transfers. Second, Japan made clear its willingness to call on nations exporting conventional weapons to consider improving and strengthening their legal and administrative frameworks for voluntary restriction on exports of such weapons. The former proposal is based upon the realization that, in cases where there is a dangerous accumulation of arms beyond the need for self-defense, enhanced transparency and openness of arms transfers may serve the purpose of an early warning to the international community of the dangerous situation. This may be regarded as an informational measure to prevent regional conflicts. Also, this may be a form of confidence building measures, and in a broader sense one of arms control issues. The latter proposal is based upon the realization that an excessive accumulation of conventional weapons in a certain region, upsetting the military balance and threatening the outbreak of an armed conflict, ought to be prevented by the voluntary restraint of nations mainly on the supply side of arms. This may be regarded as one of the practical measures to prevent regional conflicts within the framework of arms control issues.
As is well known, measures to increase the transparency of arms transfers is a subject currently under study by a group of experts including one from Japan in accordance with a United Nations General Assembly resolution introduced by Colombia and other member states in 1988. The result of their study will be presented in the coming session of the United Nations General Assembly. As we stated in the above mentioned initiative and also as was clearly stated by Prime Minister Kaifu at the Kyoto Conference, Japan intends to submit to the United Nations General Assembly, at its next session, a draft resolution that would contribute to establishing standards and rules, including a reporting system to the United Nations of the international transfer of conventional arms. In this draft resolution the report of the U.N. Study Group will naturally be taken into account. Furthermore, I understand that this problem was also discussed during the last United Nations Disarmament Commission's session in New York and that the United Kingdom made a valuable proposal regarding the establishment of a United Nations data registration system of arms transfers. It would be useful for nations sharing the same idea to get together and to come up with a joint draft resolution. In addition, Japan will be ready, should the need arise, to contribute in an appropriate manner to the upgrading and expanding of the database system of the United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs so that the database will be able to cover data on arms transfers as well.
As to the question of the export of conventional weapons, I took it upon myself to raise the issue of self-restraint to the foreign ministers of major arms exporting countries. Compared with the question of weapons of mass destruction, views of nations are more divergent on the question of the international transfer of conventional weapons. Therefore, it is my belief that the most realistic approach to this question should be to begin with the consideration of the strengthening of the self-restraint mechanism on the part of arms exporting states.
In this sense, I highly value the Middle East arms control initiative announced last week by President Bush as a courageous attempt to tackle the intricate issue of arms transfers. The initiative calls for the establishment of guidelines for restraint and of a consultation mechanism among the five leading arms exporting countries. Japan wishes to see an early materialization of the initiative by five states. At the same time, Japan considers it important that in the future other major arms supplier states will also participate in the new restraint system and that its scope will be expanded globally. Japan, as a nation that has long been strictly controlling arms exports on the basis of what we call the Three Principles of Arms Exports, will do its utmost in contributing to international efforts aimed at the achievement of such a goal.
The final point I should like to raise concerning the issue of arms transfers is the importance of solving political confrontations and conflicts existent in individual regions in question. Needless to say, the conclusion of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which is the first treaty in the field of conventional weapons disarmament after the Second World War, became possible only after the sweeping changes in the structure of East-West political confrontation. Nations possess military power and stand against each other as a reflection of political confrontation. The CFE Treaty has eloquently proven that it is possible to decrease military confrontation in proportion to the degree of the solution of political confrontation. That is to say, in order to promote arms control and disarmament measures substantially in any given region, including the issue of international arms transfers, it is indispensable to resolve political confrontation. The resolution reduces to a large extent the incentive to acquire arms on the side of importing countries of conventional weapons.
It should be said that the transfer of conventional weapons is closely linked to each country's right to self-defense. Indeed, conventional weapons are already widely spread. Furthermore, there is a trend for the proliferation of the manufacturing capabilities of such arms. There is a limit, one has to admit, to what can be done in this field. Therefore, from my experience as a student of medical science, I think it vitally important to apply both "symptomatic treatment" and "eradicative cure" in such a case. In other words, we must apply what may be termed as symptomatic treatment, such as increasing the transparency of transfers of conventional weapons and exercising self-restraint in arms exports. Together with this, there is a need for diplomatic efforts to solve political issues. The latter may be regarded as the eradicative cure aimed at improving body conditions. Application of both methods must be the only way to deal with the problem. Japan is determined to continue both forms of efforts in cooperation with other countries.
I have just tried to analyze recent developments in the world and describe Japan's position on problems in the field of arms control and disarmament which require urgent action. At present, with the Cold War receding, the world is entering an important period of establishing a new international order. Having experienced two world wars, the entire world community of the twentieth century is still faced with the great and challenging task of how to build an international order of peace and stability. This new international order should guarantee a free, creative and prosperous society, long dreamt of by mankind. We are still in a period of transition intermingled with light and dark patches. However, we may say that we are beginning to hear the steady beating of such an international order. Recalling that the approaching twenty-first century is the first chapter of the new millennium or even of the following millennia for mankind. I tremble with the thought of our great responsibility to our progeny. Recognizing these historic perspectives and responsibility at this place today, should we not continuously and patiently strive to accomplish our noble tasks in arms control and disarmament during the remaining precious decade before the turn of the century?
I am determined to continue these efforts in cooperation with you.
Thank you very much for your attention.
(5) Statement by Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama to the General Session of the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference
(Kuala Lumpur, July 22, 1991)
Your Excellency, Mr. Datuk Abdullah, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and distinguished delegates:
I am most pleased to be able to participate in this Conference again, subsequent to my attendance last year. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the Government of Malaysia for hosting this Conference, and to my colleagues from ASEAN countries for their cordial invitation.
Since its inauguration in 1978, the Post Ministerial Conference has been adding to its importance year after year. At the beginning, its central task was to increase the resilience of its entire region through promoting economic development of the ASEAN countries, but in recent years, the discussions in this forum have come to encompass a wider spectrum of issues, including in particular, political issues. The fact that much importance is attributed to dialogues on political issues, I believe, reflects the increasing matureness in dialogues among PMC participating countries through the accumulation of over 10 years of dialogue, as well as the willingness on the part of each participating country to be an actor in responding to the changing times and changing international relations.
Against these backdrops, I believe that this Conference has come to bear the significance of the most important forum for dialogue regarding the stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region. In this context, the participation of the Republic of Korea in this Conference for the first time this year is most timely, and Japan welcomes this development whole-heartedly.
I wish to relate to you today how I perceive the problems affecting peace and stability in Asia and the Pacific.
Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates,
Needless to say, in contemplating the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, it is imperative to think comprehensively, taking into account political, economic and military situation. Yet the most important issue for the stability of countries in this region is economic development. In this region, where many countries are still in different stages of development, the pursuit of economic development has the paramount importance in enhancing the political and social resilience of the countries in this region and increasing the stability of the region. As is widely recognized, unstable livelihood is at the root of many of the problems in this region, and therefore, pursuing stability and improvement in the living standards through economic development will help to avoid confrontation and conflict as well as relax tensions.
In this connection, I am pleased to observe remarkable economic advances in recent years in this region. ASEAN countries, notably, have become a major factor for stability in Southeast Asia and Asia and the Pacific at large through their mutual cooperation based on improved domestic political stability by virtue of their economic development. Furthermore, the activities of APEC are also expected to contribute to achieving further stability and development of the region. It is with this recognition that Japan will do as best it can to expand its cooperation, centering on the economic field, with Asian countries.
While the Cold War between the East and West is coming to an end and the relaxation of tensions is in progress in Europe and elsewhere, we cannot ignore the issues of security. The Gulf Crisis is a prime case in point. Furthermore, as the London Economic Summit also pointed out the "New Thinking" in Soviet foreign policy has not been applied in the Asia-Pacific region as visibly as in Europe.
In this connection, it should be underscored, first of all, that the presence of the United States is an indispensable element for stability in this region. In my view, the importance of its presence is only increasing in today's changing international political situation. In this respect I welcome the amicable resolution of the U.S.-Philippines bases negotiations. I am convinced that the U.S. forces stationed in Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Philippines contribute not only to the security of the host nations, but also to the peace and stability of the entire Asia-Pacific region.
Under the Mutual Cooperation and Security Treaty with the United States, Japan is providing more than 140 facilities and areas to U.S. forces, and shouldering the financial burden of more than $3 billion annually in the form of host nation support. I should like to add that by 1995, this host nation support is projected to cover approximately 70% of the expenses of U.S. forces stationed in Japan, excluding the salaries of military personnel and civilian components.
The Soviet military presence in this region show some favorable developments on the one hand, such as certain force reductions in Mongolia, Cam Ranh Bay and along the Sino-Soviet border, but on the other hand, continues the upgrading of its military capabilities in the Far East. It is Japan's ardent hope that the Soviet Union will apply its new thinking diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region in the same manner as in Europe, where drastic transformation of East-West relations was realized, and thus contribute to achieving further stability and prosperity of the region.
In this connection, I regard the resolution of the Northern Territories issue, which is a legacy of Soviet postwar expansionism, as a test case in judging whether or not Soviet new thinking diplomacy has indeed come to be applied on the global basis. In this context, my Government was pleased to reach an understanding with the Soviet Union during the Japanese-Soviet summit meetings in April to accelerate the process of concluding a peace treaty by resolving the Northern Territories issue, and to expand multi-faceted Japanese-Soviet relations. It is the policy of my Government to continue its efforts toward achieving a dramatic improvement in its relations with the Soviet Union, while soliciting understanding and cooperation from the Soviet side.
China, needless to say, is an extremely important entity for the stability and security of the region. China has been moving forward with its reform and open door policies in recent years, and I expect that progress of these policies will lead to the stability of China as well as of the region. Bearing this in mind, Japan has been extending as much cooperation as possible to support the progress of these reform and open door policies.
As we all know, the recent Gulf Crisis has brought home anew the importance of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and regulation of international transfer of conventional weapons. This issue was also high on the important political agenda in the London Economic Summit. In this regard, China's participation in the Paris meeting of the Five major arms-supplier countries on arms transfers and non-proliferation is a welcome development, and I would like to encourage China to exert further efforts in this regard.
Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates:
The Cambodian problem, the situation of the Korean Peninsula and other regional conflicts and confrontations need to be resolved as well if we are to secure peace and stability in this region.
As for the Cambodian problem we most welcome the positive signs among the Cambodian parties themselves, at long last, to get down to a realistic dialogue to achieve the settlement of the conflict after twelve long years. The important progress recently seen in Pattaya and after is the direct result both of Prince Sihanouk's active initiative as the leader of Cambodia, and of the spirit of compromise and flexibility exhibited by the different Cambodian factions. Japan believes that the most important factor in achieving a comprehensive settlement is for all countries involved to continue to give their support to Prince Sihanouk, who has assumed the chairmanship of the Supreme National Council, in these final stages of the talks for Cambodian peace. And Japan strongly supports ASEAN's position on this problem.
I visited Laos under the present regime last year, and Vietnam in June this year as the first official trips to these countries as Foreign Minister and found myself favorably impressed by the efforts both countries are making towards the acceleration of economic liberalization.
As Prime Minister Kaifu emphasized in a recent policy speech in Singapore, Japan believes that the time is now right to strengthen the ties between ASEAN member states and other countries in Indochina, thereby making Indochina part of the dynamic economic development that is taking place in the Asia-Pacific region. In order for this to happen, however, Cambodia needs to accept the involvement of the United Nations and restore its peace and stability as quickly as possible. I will spare no effort to see this realized, in close cooperation with those concerned, especially H.E. Mr. Ali Alatas who has demonstrated excellent statesmanship as co-chairman of PICC.
Reducing tensions further on the Korean Peninsula is another critically important factor for stability in the Asia-Pacific area. We are therefore extremely pleased with the prospects for realizing the United Nations membership of North and South Korea, as well as for reopening talks between the prime ministers of those two countries. It is Japan's policy to support those moves leading to the progress in North-South dialogue and, ultimately, the peaceful unification of the peninsula, working in close cooperation with countries concerned and doing our utmost to reduce tensions on the peninsula.
The suspicions that North Korea may be developing nuclear weapons are a cause for security concern not just for Japan but for the whole of Asia and the Pacific, and in fact, entire world. We have called upon North Korea for the early conclusion and implementation of the safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since that is the obligation upon North Korea under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In this connection, I appreciate the recent agreement between North Korea and the IAEA on the draft text of the safeguards agreement as a positive step. My feelings are that we should act in concert to further encourage North Korea to conclude the safeguards agreement and to completely fulfill the obligations that it will incur.
In the fourth round of talks recently decided to be held in Beijing in late August as well as in subsequent talks for the normalization of relations between Japan and North Korea, Japan intends to continue to negotiate with good faith in a manner that will contribute to peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.
Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates,
I have briefly reviewed with you Japan's perception of some of the major issues impinging on peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Given this situation, Japan has maintained steadfastly the Japan-U.S. security arrangements while developing gradually our defense capabilities to the minimum level required to defend our nation with strict adherence to the basic policy of maintaining a purely defensive posture and never again becoming a military power. While the size of the Japanese defense budget seems to have elicited expressions of concern from some countries, I would like to point out that the structure of our forces and the weapons systems we have been acquiring are entirely defensive in nature. We do not, for example, have any offensive aircraft carriers or long-range strategic bombers. And it is common knowledge that we defend our sea-lanes only out to 1,000 nautical miles. Civilian control is firmly established in our country. There has been no change nor will there be any change in Japan's security policies.
As Japan's position on the international stage arises, however, there have been calls from both inside and outside the country for us to take on responsibilities and roles more befitting our position and power not only financially but through personnel participation as well. Our dispatch of minesweepers to the Persian Gulf after the war was part of our program to discharge our peacetime responsibilities to the international community. Japan's post-Gulf War international cooperation has also extended to other areas, including the dispatch of five teams including International Disaster Relief Teams to the Gulf area. The 57 experts in these teams have been charged with recovering the oil spill in the Gulf, protecting the desalination plants and combating the air pollution. Japanese experts in the forecasting of air and water pollution are now stationed in the region, and we have also sent six medical teams comprising doctors and nurses to Iran and Turkey to help the Kurdish refugees.
Japan is now trying to make changes in its legal framework in order to cooperate in U.N. peacekeeping operations, which is also a step toward making domestic preparations to shoulder more responsibility in the international community.
Japan has traditionally taken a comprehensive approach to security that bas focused on three areas: the smooth operation of the Japan-U.S. security arrangements, the maintenance of self-defense capabilities, and the use of diplomatic initiatives. And in order to secure stability in the region around us, we have attached importance to providing support to the United States to keep U.S. forces on our soil, and extending economic cooperation to promote stability and development among our neighbors.
As you are aware, playing a more active political role, meanwhile, has taken on an increased importance recently as another major pillar in our diplomatic efforts for ensuring regional stability. A series of diplomatic efforts such as convening the Tokyo Meeting on Cambodia is a good example of this development.
It is also true, however, that this expansion of the Japanese political role in the Asia-Pacific region has caused anxiety and concern among other countries, as to how far our role would expand and whether or not it would take on military dimensions. That is why, I believe, it is increasingly important both for Japan and our fellow Asian nations to have opportunities on a constant basis enabling Japan to listen to the anxieties and concerns that other countries in Asia express regarding our foreign policy orientation and objectives, and, in turn, for Japan to provide our neighbors in Asia with direct, forthright explanations of our thinking. As we fulfill our political obligations in the Asia-Pacific region in the future, a vital part of our diplomatic activities will be to participate earnestly in a process which I might call "political dialogue designed to increase the sense of security felt by all parties."
Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates,
Japan continues to maintain that the geopolitical conditions and strategic environment of the Asia-Pacific region are vastly different from those in Europe, and that the processes and mechanisms that developed in Europe under the CSCE are not appropriate for securing stability in this region.
What the Asia-Pacific region needs to do is, in the first instance, to ensure its long-term stability by utilizing the various arrangements for international cooperation and fora for dialogue that exists today in an integrated and multilayered manner.
Such arrangements and fora already in place first and foremost refer to the fora for economic cooperation, that is most vital element in regional security. They would include: ASEAN, ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference, APEC and PECC.
Second, I am referring to the frameworks that are now emerging from the diplomatic efforts to solve conflicts and disputes in this region. Examples are the approach taken by the countries concerned for a comprehensive settlement of the Cambodian problem and the framework for international cooperation centering on North-South dialogue on the Korean Peninsula.
And third, I am referring to the many agreements and cooperative relationships that exist in this region in the area of security. The Japan-U.S. security arrangements and numerous other mechanisms are forces for stability in our rapidly changing times.
If there is anything to add to the mechanisms and frameworks for cooperation in the three fields of economic cooperation, diplomacy and security, the first would be a forum for political dialogue where friendly countries in this region could engage in frank exchanges of opinion on matters of mutual interest. I think, for example, that the afore-mentioned concerns and apprehensions about the future direction of Japanese foreign policy are a worthy topic for such types of political dialogues.
I couldn't agree more with the statement in the Joint Communique that came out of the ASEAN Ministerial Conference the day before yesterday that cites the ASEAN PMC as one of the appropriate bases for addressing the regional peace and security issues. The dialogue we engage in here for the purpose of increasing the sense of reassurance felt by the friendly countries is intended to strengthen the political foundation of our mutual cooperative relations. In that respect such political dialogue is by nature different than confidence building measures which aims at easing military tensions.
With such a recognition, I believe it would be meaningful and timely to use the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference as a process of political dialogue for mutual reassurance among us. In order for such dialogue to be effective, it might be advisable to organize a senior officials' meeting which would then report its deliberations to the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference for further discussion.
I have commented today on various issues regarding peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. I would like to close my remarks by emphasizing the importance for ASEAN member states and their partners to intensify cooperation for achieving common policy objectives through various fora for consultation, in particular, through this forum of the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference.
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