Remarks by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at "The Future of Asia" Conference Dinner hosted by Nihon Keizai Shimbun


Prime Minister Dato' Seri Dr.Mahathir bin Mohamad of Malaysia, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Kingdom of Cambodia, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai of Socialist Republic of Viet Nam,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

   I would like to express my profound gratitude for having been given the opportunity to speak at this Conference Dinner. I would like to give you my basic point of view regarding the relationship between other Asian countries as well as the future of Asia.

   I made the first Policy Speech just a month ago. In that speech, I stated that in order for Japan to continue enjoying prosperity and peace, it is essential that we steadfastly devote ourselves to international cooperation, and that Japan never again isolates itself from the international community and never again wages war. In order to realize my vision, it is more important than anything else, to maintain and enhance Japan's friendly relations with her neighbours, based on the foundation of the Japan-US alliance. In Asia, it is necessary to promote multi-tiered dialogue and bilateral or multilateral cooperation, taking into account the diversity that exists in this area. First, we have to develop and maintain even closer relationships with our nearest neighboring countries; the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Korea, in order to further our commitment to global friendship. As a partner for peace and prosperity in East Asia, Japan will make efforts to increase cooperation with ASEAN member countries, which have developed regional cooperation through diversity. Secondly, Japan will more actively participate in regional framework such as ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and ASEAN+3(Japan, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

   For the last 10 years, Asia has achieved the highest level of economic development in the world. But, at the same time, Asia has been affected by a considerable currency and financial crisis. Now, persistent efforts by each country to reform economic structure and increase cooperation within international society are indispensable for preventing a recurrence of the crisis and reassuring economic recovery. From a middle and long term point of view, it is certain that Asia will continue to be the core of the world economy. I am convinced that Asia will overcome the crisis and proceed with reform.

   I am also implementing reforms in line with my belief that "without structural reforms there can be no economic recovery.", leaving no sacred areas in economic and financial arenas as well as in social welfare and administration. I believe that showing this attitude towards reform is the first guidepost to restoring confidence in the Japanese economy. I also expect that the wave of reform in Japan will act in concert with those other in Asian countries, become a swell, and finally lead to sweeping reform all over Asia.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

   Efforts towards friendly and cooperative relationships in the region and the "reform" in the economy are not unrelated. Regional peace and stability are necessary implementing economic reform, and contemporaneously, economic development promote regional peace and stability. The peace and stability which Japan has enjoyed is based on such foundations. Up to this point, this peace and stability has been the result of effectively managing to control insecure factors in the region. So, I believe that our primary task is to strengthen our efforts to maintain stability. In order to accomplish this goal, we will cooperate with all those presenting here this evening along with other major countries outside of this region including the United States.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Back to Index