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Public Papers - 1990

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the President's Meeting With Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu of Japan Prior to the Houston Economic Summit


President Bush and Prime Minister Kaifu have just finished 2 hours of wide-ranging discussions on our bilateral relationship and the global partnership of international cooperation between our two countries. The two leaders have a very warm, personal relationship, calling each other by first names.

They agreed that the state of U.S.-Japan relations today is excellent and that both countries need to continue to work together in a spirit of cooperation to strengthen their bilateral relationship and support democracy, freedom, and economic liberty around the world.

The President took this opportunity to thank the Prime Minister for his outstanding leadership, which contributed so much to achieving an excellent joint report in our Structural Impediments Initiative (SII). The commitments for reform in this report, when implemented, will strengthen the economies of both our countries and lead to a better life for the Japanese and American peoples and a healthier economic relationship. The progress we have made these past 4 months in the SII process and our other trade discussions has laid a firmer foundation for our overall relationship. But we cannot become complacent in the days to come; we must ensure that our relationship continues to rest on a solid economic base.

The President and the Prime Minister emphasized that the time has come for the United States and Japan, as two of the world's greatest trading nations, to devote their full energy to securing the benefits of an open world trading system through successful completion of the Uruguay round this year.

The President took this opportunity to brief the Prime Minister on the results of the NATO summit just concluded in London. The Prime Minister and the President reaffirmed in this, the 30th anniversary year of the security treaty, the continuing importance of the alliance to peace and stability in Asia.

Japan and the United States agreed to continue to promote important global cooperation in this era of great change, in cooperation with our other summit partners. The President welcomed and encouraged Japan's growing international role, as evidenced by the contributions it is making in support of political and economic freedom in Eastern Europe, Central and South America, and elsewhere. Cooperation among Japan, the United States, and their summit partners in support of common goals will form a central part of the talks to be held during the next few days and is a manifestation of the trialog to which both leaders committed themselves at their meeting in Palm Springs.

The President and the Prime Minister discussed the issue of lending to China. They had useful talks on this matter and agreed to continue these discussions with the other summit leaders.

Finally, the President and the Prime Minister, looking back at the progress our two governments have made toward the goals at the Palm Springs summit last March, agreed to continue to work to build the kind of economic, security, and political relationship between our two countries that will be appropriate to our two great nations in this dramatically changing world.

Note: The President met with the Prime Minister at approximately 11:30 a.m. at the Houstonian Hotel's Manor House in Houston, TX. Later, the two leaders were joined by U.S. and Japanese officials and participated in a working luncheon.

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