"Asia in a New Century - Challenge and Opportunity" 
Speech by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the Boao Forum for Asia 

Full Text

1. Introduction

  • Appreciation to the Forum organizers and the Government of China (providing support for the meeting)
  • Historical anecdotes (in the 8th Century) of monk Jianzhen
    • Monk Jianzhen reached the shore of Hainan Island on his way to Japan.
    • Great contribution in sharing sprit and knowledge between nations (ex. medicine, architecture)
  • Hainan Island: Economic special zone; symbol of the Asian openness; historical background

2. A New Century in Asia

  • Three driving forces of Asia for peace and development
    • "Freedom"
       --- significant steps toward freedom since the latter half of the 20th century
    • "Diversity"
       --- move toward the same goal, recognizing the diversity as a strength
    • "Openness"
  • Three concrete challenges; "reform," "cooperation" and "conveying Asia's message to the world"


(1) Necessity of structural reform in Asian countries (also emphasized in the speech in Singapore)

(2) Explanation of Japan's efforts for reform in order to revitalize the Japanese economy

(3) Encouraging China's efforts for reform and openness. Making Japan-China economic relations beneficial for both countries

  • Japan-China economic relations
    • Challenge and opportunity for Japan, not a threat
    • Mutual benefits, not confrontation
    • Expansion of Japanese industries, not a hollowing out
  • Expectation for China
    • Smooth transition into the WTO system
    • Rules of international economy
    • Cooperation with ASEAN countries

(4) Harmonizing reform of Japan and China with Asian economic structural reform

  • Expectation for ASEAN countries
    • Improvement of the investment climate
    • Increase in competitiveness


While the speech in Singapore on January 14 focused on the cooperation in East Asia, this speech includes necessary cooperation with West and Central Asia, and more specifically, presents the necessity of closer cooperation in the following 5 areas.

(1) Energy: Is cooperation in energy area sufficient?

  • Cooperation in emergency stockpiles and energy conservation;
  • Call for the cooperation with Central Asia (dispatch of "Silk Road Energy Mission")

(2) Environment: Necessity of stronger and closer cooperation in environmental

  • Japan's contribution to environmental protection (30% of ODA is for environmental assistance)
  • Cooperation for protection and utilization of tropical forests in Hainan Island
  • Sharing Japan's experience in combating environmental pollution

(3) Currency and Finances: Necessity for the advancement of regional financial

  • Chiang Mai Initiative (recently concluded currency swap agreement with China)
  • Call for the discussion on how the regional cooperation should be, which supplements the current international financial system led by the IMF

(4) Trade and investment: Further efforts are needed for the recovery and development

  • Bilateral or sub-regional efforts (Japan-Singapore, ASEAN, Japan-Korea, Japan-Mexico)
    --- Promote economic cooperation and free trade agreements bilaterally or sub-regionally, in addition to multilateral efforts centered around the WTO
    --- Strategic challenge: binding individual efforts to more expanded regional integration

(5) Development cooperation: Emerging economies based on open trade and investment;

  • Continue assistance in the building of infrastructure, the preservation of health, the alleviation of poverty and the development of human resources
  • Value the South-South cooperation in Asia
  • Welcome the transition from recipients of assistance to providers
  • Efforts for making imports from least developed countries free from quota or tariffs.

5. Sending a Message to the World

Asian countries should send a collective message to the world more actively and also participate in the building of world prosperity.

(1) Challenges to eliminate the fear of terrorism: Terrorism also affects the global economy negatively

  • Revitalization of economy
  • Support for Afghanistan, not to make it a "country forgotten" again
  • Fights against terrorism (measures against terrorist funding, information security and the non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons)

(2) Expansion of trade and investment

  • Success of the new round of WTO;
  • Support for developing countries (human capacity building, system-building and anti-corruption measures)
  • Establishment of a global trade and investment structure expanded from regional integrations such as EU, NAFTA and the Free Trade Area of Asia

(3) Securing sustainable development

  • Environmental protection (need to take measures to deal with global warming: 30% of CO2 emissions is from Asia)
    --- Encourage Asia's serious efforts of reducing CO2 emissions
  • Asia-Africa cooperation
  • World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg
    --- "Principle of global sharing," cooperating together by sharing experiences strategies and responsibilities
    --- Prime Minister Koizumi is considering participating in WSSD

6. Conclusion

Emphasize the necessity of reform, cooperation and sending the message to the world

   --- Expect constructive discussion in Boao Forum, which lead Asia to the bright future

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