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Public Papers - 1992 - January

Remarks With Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa of Japan to the Presidential Business Delegation in Tokyo


The President. Let me just say to those on the American side and this very distinguished delegation of American business people that are here, led by our able Secretary of Commerce, how pleased we are to be in Japan and, Mr. Prime Minister, how much we appreciate your hospitality.

Are we going to have a translation or do we -- --

The Prime Minister. Go ahead. I think we understand.

The President. And to the Japanese here, let me say how important we view this part of our trip. The trip is not simply about jobs and business. This is a terribly important part of it. But given the breadth of understanding of this Prime Minister, we've been able to talk about world security problems, about a global partnership, about the big picture. To guarantee that this big picture continues to unfold in a positive way, we must make dramatic progress on the business side. And indeed, Prime Minister Miyazawa and I have had a real opportunity now to begin once again our discussions of this.

But I would say to you, my friend, these are good people, our business people. They are people that not only represent individual American companies, but in a sense we've brought a delegation that is widely connected with chambers of commerce, Federation of Independent Business, the heartbeat of our country in jobs in small business, independent business. And so, the head of the Independent Business Association is here, the National Association of Manufacturing. And in these discussions, your friends and colleagues are talking to our organizations as well as to these business executives and individuals in whom I have so much personal confidence.

But we're grateful to you. And I would just like to turn the floor over to you, sir, for any comments that you'd care to make.

The Prime Minister. Thank you, Mr. President. If I may, a few words.

Secretary Mosbacher, distinguished U.S. business executives, I hope you are having a productive meeting. It must be quite rare, even in the United States, for such an outstanding group of business executives to get together in one room, particularly from such a broad spectrum of industries ranging from potato chips to computer chips. [Laughter] I should be delighted if you take full advantage of this special occasion for the benefit of both economies.

President Bush and I are working hard to advance our bilateral relationship including its economic aspect, not only for the sake of our two countries but also for the rest of the world. In so doing, both the President and I have great expectations for the input from the private sectors.

Now, 18 people are enough to form 2 baseball teams. I hope you will be throwing balls of imaginative and creative ideas back and forth with the Trade Minister here today, as well as with Japanese business representatives tomorrow morning, so as to further utilize market-access opportunities here in Japan.

You are welcome. Thank you very much.

The President. May I correct an omission? Yesterday, far beyond the call of duty, Mr. Watanabe, the Minister, met with our people and came down and couldn't have been more hospitable to Mrs. Bush and me. And I'm very sorry I did not mention that in the beginning of my remarks.

We note these things. We Americans note these courtesies. And that one, I think, was wonderful. And your asking the former Prime Minister to come down there to greet us also was noted with great appreciation and got this visit off, I think, Mr. Watanabe, to a good start yesterday.

But now we've got to follow through. We've got to be specific. We've got to get to as much as we can, set tables, times -- ``Let's do it by then.'' And I think we can do it. I really believe that we can move this process forward. And it is in our interests; it is in your interests. And I like to think that because of the progress Japan has made and the enormous potential that we both have, that world leadership is at stake.

We've got something here with the world that's changing. These people have heard me give this speech, but I'll be very short. But Kiichi, when you look at where we were a year ago or 2 years ago in terms of world peace, your little kids in this country or kids in our country growing up worried about nuclear holocaust, and now we see a tremendous opportunity -- --

The Prime Minister. This is really a new wind in the world.

The President. It is. So, we've got to lead it. And we've got to work; we've got to iron out these differences between us so that we can go forward without tensions mounting and dividing up the world into trading blocs. And I am really excited about the potential. But here's a man that's demonstrated his interest.

The Prime Minister. You have done a great deal to bring this new world of peace, really, after the Gulf thing.

The President. I might use this opportunity to say here in front of our leaders in Japan that there had been some rumors around that in the United States, that I have addressed myself to in the United States, of a disappointment on the part of me as President about Japan's part in Desert Storm. With the press here, let me just repeat what I've said at home: Japan stepped up and did what Japan was asked to do.

And I have been very grateful for that. And to the degree that anyone here might be asked about whether we were disappointed in Japan's role, the answer, as I've said back then, is no. Japan did what was asked of Japan. And Japan was there in several important ways, and they were not asked to send troops into Desert Storm. We understand, and we didn't ask for that. And so let me just take this opportunity to tell you that's not an irritant between us.

The Prime Minister. I, Mr. President, greatly appreciate your saying so. I think we did our utmost, and I do appreciate your saying that. There perhaps had some misunderstanding on your part, on our part, both sides of the Pacific. But I do appreciate your saying that.

The President. Yes. Well, there's none on mine, but there may have been on our side of the Pacific. There's a lot of misunderstanding over there. But I want you to know that because we thought you responded very positively. You shouldn't have a burden of people saying you didn't.

The Prime Minister. Should we get down to our discussions again?

The President. Okay. Thank you all.

Note: The President spoke at 12:26 p.m. to Japanese and American business leaders meeting in Akasaka Palace. In his remarks, he referred to Michio Watanabe, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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