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National Archives

Public Papers - 1990

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the President's Meeting With the Special Emissaries of Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu of Japan


President Bush met with former Ambassador to the United States Matsunaga and Deputy Foreign Minister Owada, who are Special Emissaries of Prime Minister Kaifu of Japan. The Special Emissaries delivered a letter from Prime Minister Kaifu to the President which contained details on the efforts made by the Government of Japan since the Palm Springs meeting on March 2 - 4. The discussion focused on the progress made in trade and economic matters.

Agreements have been concluded on supercomputers, satellites, and telecommunications; and substantial progress has been achieved in the ongoing SII process. In addition, Prime Minister Kaifu has said that he hopes an agreement will be forthcoming to resolve the forest products issue. The President was very appreciative of all of the work that has been accomplished over the last month. The President expressed his conviction that Prime Minister Kaifu deserves a very large share of the credit for settling the specific trade issues and for achieving substantial progress on SII.

The President emphasized that SII is an ongoing process and that he hopes both sides will take further steps in the final SII report in July and the resulting follow-on phase. Bringing about structural adjustments will not be easy on either side of the Pacific, but both governments are committed to achieving a positive interim SII report as well as a more comprehensive finished product in July. We have had very substantial success to date, but we must continue our efforts because neither the Japanese consumer nor the American public will be convinced until they see concrete results.

The President emphasized the vital importance of maintaining excellent relations with Japan not only in trade but with regard to security and the growing global partnership between the United States and Japan. In particular, the President complimented the Government of Japan for its assistance efforts in Eastern Europe and in Central America. In all of these matters, the President praised the forthright and assertive leadership demonstrated by Prime Minister Kaifu and credited him with having created a new spirit of cooperation between the United States and Japan.

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