Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting and Japan-U.S.-ROK Summit Meeting
November 27, 2006
1. Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting
The Japan-U.S. summit meeting, the first meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Bush, took place in Hanoi, Viet Nam on November 18. The fact that President Bush had luncheon meetings only with Prime Minister Abe apart from Australian Prime Minister Howard during the APEC Summit indicated the close and friendly relations between Japan and the United States.
(1) For about the first 30 minutes, Prime Minister Abe and President Bush held one-on-one talks. Prime Minister Abe explained the basic policies of his administration. The two leaders concurred to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance on the basis of their shared universal values, and resolved to tackle various issues facing the international community under the concept of "Japan-U.S. Alliance for Asia and the World."
(2) The two leaders continued on with a working lunch, which lasted for about an hour. President Bush congratulated Prime Minister Abe for the wonderful start of his administration under his strong leadership. Prime Minister Abe replied that he respected President Bush for acting upon his beliefs and said that he too would like to exercise his leadership based upon his own beliefs.
(3) The two leaders confirmed that they would further strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance. President Bush reconfirmed the United States' commitment to deterrence based on the Japan-U.S. security arrangements. Also, both leaders concurred to further strengthen and accelerate Japan-U.S. cooperation on missile defense and to assign the Foreign and Defense Ministers of both countries with these tasks. The two leaders also confirmed the steady implementation of the realignment of the U.S. Forces in Japan.
(4) On Japan-U.S. economic issues, both leaders agreed upon the importance of further developing mutually beneficial Japan-U.S. economic relations, and that they should concretely discuss regional and global issues at the Japan-U.S. Subcabinet Economic Dialogue so that Japan and the United States cooperate in tackling these issues together. President Bush went on to emphasize the importance of APEC and stated that he would like to promote the FTAAP (Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific). Prime Minister Abe responded that the U.S. presence in Asia is vital not just for its security, but also in the area of economy, and that Japan too recognized the importance of APEC and believed the consideration of FTAAP, as one of the multilayered approaches, was worthwhile.
(5) With regard to the situation in Asia, Prime Minister Abe described his visits to China and Republic of Korea in October, and President Bush welcomed the progress in Japan-China and Japan-ROK relations. The two leaders concurred on the importance of their cooperation with Australia and India, strengthening relationships with ASEAN, and the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
(6) The two leaders spent a considerable amount of time for discussion on North Korea. Both leaders concurred that North Korea's possessing of nuclear weapons would be totally unacceptable. They also agreed it is important that the five parties of the Six-Party Talks to cooperate so that concrete progress will be made toward the denuclearization of North Korea are taken when the Six-Party Talks is resumed. They further confirmed that they would urge other countries to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, and that China's role remains important. President Bush also clearly reaffirmed his support for Japan's position on the abduction issue.
(7) Regarding the UN Security Council reform, Prime Minister Abe said he wanted concrete results and asked for cooperation from the United States to achieve them. President Bush stated his support for Japan to become a permanent member of the Security Council and said that he would like both governments to discuss measures to make it a reality.
(8) In addition, Prime Minister Abe explained the extension of the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law and Japan's efforts to assist the reconstruction of Iraq. Also, the two leaders confirmed that Japan and the United States would work closely on such issues as the Iranian nuclear issue. They also agreed on the importance of moving forward with the WTO Doha Round negotiations.
2. Japan-U.S.-ROK Summit Meeting
Following the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, another summit meeting took place between Prime Minister Abe, President Bush and President of the Republic of Korea Roh Moo-hyun. The three leaders exchanged views on the situation in Northeast Asia, including that in North Korea.
There was a frank discussion about the situation in Northeast Asia, including the urgent issue of North Korea's nuclear development. It was of great significance and a very strong message for North Korea that the leaders of Japan, the United States and ROK gathered and reconfirmed their commitment to working together for the stability and prosperity of the region.
(1) The Commitment of the United States to the Asian Region
President Bush stated that United States' involvement in East Asia is vital for its national interests, and that the United States was committed to the stability and prosperity of the region. In response, Prime Minister Abe and President Roh both stated that they shared this recognition of the importance of close cooperation among the three countries for the stability and prosperity of Northeast Asia.
Prime Minister Abe stated that it was important for Japan, the United States and ROK , which share the universal values of freedom, democracy, and basic human rights, to cooperate not only in the Six-Party Talks but also in promoting the peace and stability of the region as a whole. He further stated that he believes it is important that regional cooperative frameworks of APEC, ASEAN and the East Asia Summit exist as a multilayered structure and to continue dialogue for the peace and prosperity of the region.
(2) The Nuclear and Abduction Issues with North Korea
The importance of the continued cooperation among Japan, the United States and ROK was affirmed in response to the North Korean nuclear development issue.
President Roh spoke of the necessity of using an appropriate combination of efforts toward dialogue and pressure, and noted the necessity of coordination with China while Japan, the United States and ROK cooperate.
Prime Minister Abe stated that it was necessary to get concrete results early on at the Six-Party Talks and that the continued application of pressure was required. He also reiterated the importance of the abduction issue to Japan.
President Bush stated that there were a variety of views on trade with China in the United States, but that he believes it is important. President Roh noted that North Korea is probably paying attention to reform and openness policies in China.
Prime Minister Abe said that China's economic development presented an opportunity for Japan, the United States and ROK, and that they needed to cooperate in getting China to play an appropriate role for its size in international society.
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