Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting (Summary)
November 16, 2007
Prime Minister Fukuda held a meeting with President George Bush for approximately an hour on November 16. The summit was followed by a joint press availability and a 45-minute luncheon meeting hosted by President Bush on the same day. (Also present at the summit and the joint press availability were Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Iwaki, Ambassador of Japan to the United States Kato, and others from the Japan side, and Secretary of State Rice, White House Chief of Staff Bolten, National Security Advisor Hadley, Ambassador of the United States to Japan Schieffer, and others from the U.S. side. Secretary of Defense Gates, United States Trade Representative (USTR) Schwab, and others were also seated at the luncheon.) This visit was Prime Minister Fukuda's first visit to a foreign country as the Prime Minister, which indicated that the cornerstone of Japan’s foreign policy continued to be the Japan-U.S. Alliance.
At the outset of the meeting, President Bush mentioned that it was interesting that Prime Minister Fukuda’s and his fathers had also been the Prime Minister and the President and that both the Prime Minister and himself had been involved in the oil business, and the summit started in a friendly atmosphere.
1. Japan-U.S. Relations
(1) Overall Japan-U.S. Relations
On strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, both leaders shared the view that the Japan-U.S. alliance was the cornerstone of the promotion of Japanese and U.S. foreign policy in Asia and played an indispensable role in enabling both countries to address global issues. Japan and the United States had now built a strong and durable relationship over more than half a century, overcoming the difficulties that cropped up from time to time, and both leaders reaffirmed that Japan and the United States would further solidify this Japan-U.S. alliance. In particular, Prime Minister Fukuda explained his initiative for strengthening Japan-U.S. exchanges: the strengthening of intellectual exchanges, grass root exchanges, and Japanese language education in the United States, and President Bush expressed his support.
(2) The Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements
On the Japan-U.S. security arrangements, at the luncheon meeting where Secretary of Defense Gates was present, the leaders shared the view on the importance of further strengthening deterrence based on the Japan-U.S. security arrangements, which is the foundation of the Japan-U.S. alliance. On the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan , the leaders reaffirmed steady implementation based on the “Roadmap” while maintaining deterrence and reducing the burden on local communities. Secretary Gates referred to the host nation support for U.S. Forces in Japan and Prime Minister Fukuda responded that there was no change in Japan's commitment to the alliance. He also mentioned that this matter would continue to be negotiated by the ministers in charge, and that Prime Minister Fukuda hoped for an early resolution.
2. The Fight Against Terrorism and the Situation in Iraq
(1) Refueling Activities
On the fight against terrorism, the leaders recognized that they could not allow Afghanistan to once again become a hotbed for terrorism, and reaffirmed that the international community, including both Japan and the United States, should continue to address the issue. Prime Minister Fukuda told President Bush that he would make his best effort for the early enactment of a bill in order for the early resumption of the refueling activities by Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force in the Indian Ocean, and President Bush expressed his appreciation for Japan's past support and his hope for the early resumption of the refueling activities.
(2) The Situation in Iraq
Prime Minister Fukuda expressed his understanding of and support for the efforts of the United States for the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq, and the leaders confirmed that Japan and the United States would continue to cooperate toward the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq.
3. The Situation in Asia
On the situation in Asia, both leaders discussed synergies between the Japan-U.S. alliance and Asia policies of Japan and the United States . Prime Minister Fukuda stated that he would like to exert leadership in Asia by strengthening Japan's relationship with its neighboring countries and by activating regional cooperative frameworks. He also mentioned that realizing a stable, open, prosperous and developing Asia by further deepening the relations with Asian countries on the basis of solid Japan-U.S. alliance will be the mutual interests of both Japan and the United States and would contribute to further strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance. President Bush referred to the importance of cooperation between Japan and the United States .
(2) North Korea
On North Korea, both leaders agreed that Japan and the United States would maintain close cooperation in working within the Six-Party Talks to achieve the complete abandonment of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and programs.
Further, Prime Minister Fukuda explained the importance of the resolution of the abduction issue as well as the nuclear and missile issues. He also reiterated the importance of close Japan-U.S. coordination on areas such as the issue of removing North Korea from the list of countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism.
In response, President Bush said that he understood there was concern within the Japanese government and among the Japanese people that the United States would make a deal with North Korea without addressing the abduction issue, but stated that he would never forget the abduction issue and expressed his support for the efforts of the Japanese government.
The leaders shared the view that it was important to implement the statement of the Six-Party Talks as a whole in a balanced manner, and confirmed that Japan and the United States would maintain close cooperation.
With regard to China, Prime Minister Fukuda explained that it was important that China play a constructive role, including improving the transparency of its policies, for which President Bush expressed his support. The Prime Minister explained that he would use the opportunity of the ASEAN Summit later this month to hold a meeting with the Chinese leadership to establish a relationship of trust with China.
On Myanmar, in the joint press availability, President Bush condemned the crackdown on democratic activists, called for the release of all political prisoners, and expressed his support for a genuine dialogue for democratization. Prime Minister Fukuda explained that he was strongly calling on Myanmar to make progress in its democratization and human rights situation. Prime Minister Fukuda emphasized the need to make efforts for the democratization of Myanmar, and the leaders confirmed that Japan and the United States would maintain close cooperation.
President Bush expressed that he was deeply concerned about the current situation in Iran, and Prime Minister Fukuda replied that its development of nuclear weapons could not be tolerated. The leaders reaffirmed that the international community should continue to concertedly increase pressure on Iran.
4. Global Issues
(1) Climate Change
On Climate Change, the leaders agreed that Japan and the United States would continue close cooperation and coordination at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit and in the new forum for negotiations at the United Nations to make tangible progress toward the establishment of an effective framework on climate change through various measures including “sector based approach.” Further, the leaders reaffirmed that Japan and the United States would cooperate in promoting the development of innovative technology and realizing the peaceful use of nuclear energy to achieve compatibility between the prevention of global warming and energy security while sustaining economic growth.
(2) Development Assistance to Africa
On development assistance to Africa, the two leaders confirmed that the issue was one that needs to be addressed by the entire international community, and reaffirmed that Japan and the United States would cooperate more closely to reflect the outcomes of the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) next May to the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit next July.
(3) Japan-U.S. Cooperation in the field of Global Health
Prime Minister Fukuda proposed that Japan and the United States cooperate in the field of Global Health to improve the health situation, especially in Africa. President Bush expressed his support with strong interest.
5. The International Economy
Regarding the WTO Doha Round negotiations, the two leaders affirmed the importance of an early conclusion of the round and shared the view that both Japan and the United States would work together to give impetus to the negotiations so that they accelerate and achieve a convergence.
(2) The Issue of U.S. Beef Imports
On the issue of U.S. beef imports, in the joint press availability, President Bush stated that he hoped that the Japanese market would be fully open to all U.S. beef and beef products in accordance with the international guidelines. Prime Minister Fukuda replied that the Japanese government would address this issue based on scientific point of view ensuring the basic premise of food safety for the Japanese people.
6. United Nations Security Council Reform
On the United Nations Security Council Reform, President Bush again expressed support for Japan's becoming a permanent member of the Security Council, and the two leaders reaffirmed that Japan and the United States would continue discussion for the realization of the reform.