Japan-U.S. Relations
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Foreign Affairs, Japan
 
 
 

 
 
Overview (2/01/06)
 
 

Japan-U.S. Relations

Embassy of Japan
February 1, 2006

 


1. Current State of Japan-U.S. Relations
(1) Summit Meetings between Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush

(2) Meetings between Foreign Minister Aso and Secretary of State Rice
(3) Meetings between Speaker Kono and Speaker Hastert of the Houses of Representatives

2. Japan-U.S. Security Relationship
(1) Overview
(2) "2+2" Meetings
(3) Realignment of U.S. Forces
(4) Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)

3. Japan-U.S. Economic Relations

4. Japan-U.S. Cooperation on Global Issues

(1) Fight Against Terrorism
(2) Iraq
(3) United Nations Reform
(4) Disaster Prevention and Relief
(5) Development
(6) Global Warming

5. 150 th Anniversary of Japan-U.S. Relations


1. Current State of Japan-U.S. relations

On September 8, 1951, Japan and the allied countries including the United States signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty, formally ending WW II and starting a new era of Japan-U.S. relations. Since then, Japan and the U.S. have overcome many challenges together and developed their relationship into “the most important bilateral relationship, bar none” (the late Senator Michael J. Mansfield, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan ). Japan-U.S. relations are based on shared interests and also on shared values and principles such as freedom and democracy. In the history of the world, it would be difficult to find two other nations who engaged in war and have so rapidly established such a strong partnership like Japan and the United States.

The Signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty

Bettmann/CORBIS/Corbis Japan

The majority of both Japanese and U.S. nationals have excellent views on Japan-U.S. relations. A poll released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in August, 2005 showed that 72% of the U.S. “general public“ group and 90% of the U.S. “opinion leaders” group regarded Japan as “a dependable ally or friend." (www.mofa.go.jp/english/n-america/us/survey/summary2005.html)

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Japan-U.S. Summit Meetings and Other Meetings

Based on our “U.S.-Japan alliance in the global context” concept, the United States and Japan are building significantly interdependent and cooperative relationships across a broad range of areas in the political, security, economic and global cooperation, including the fight against terrorism. Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush have already met thirteen times since their first summit meeting at Camp David on June 30, 2001, and closely exchanged views on a variety of issues at the highest level. In specific terms, the following are details of the U.S.-Japan summit meetings, and the meetings between Japan's Foreign Minister and the U.S. Secretary of State.

 

Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush ( 11/16/05, Kyoto )

Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office

 (1) Summit Meetings between Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush

· June 30, 2001 (Camp David): The first summit between Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush. They agreed to strengthen the strategic dialogue between the two countries and proposed the “U.S.-Japan economic partnership for growth.” They also agreed to cooperate on global issues. They announced a joint communiqué entitled the “Partnership for Security and Prosperity.”

· September 25, 2001 (Washington DC): Prime Minister Koizumi went to New York immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks (9/24). He then met with President Bush to express their joint resolve to wipe out terrorism in Washington, DC.

· October 20, 2001 (Shanghai, China): Bilateral summit meeting on the occasion of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

· February 18, 2002 (Tokyo): Bilateral summit meeting held during President Bush's visit to Japan. The leaders confirmed the importance of cooperation between the two countries on the war on terrorism, the U.S.-Japan alliance, and regional and global issues. During his visit, President Bush also had an audience and banquet with His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, and delivered a speech before the Japanese Diet.

· June 25, 2002 (Kananaskis, Canada): Bilateral summit meeting on the occasion of the G8 Summit in Canada.

· September 12, 2002 (New York): Prime Minister Koizumi visited the U.S. on the occasion of the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The leaders discussed issues related to Iraq and Prime Minister Koizumi’s visit to North Korea.

· May 22-23, 2003 (Crawford, Texas): President Bush invited Prime Minister Koizumi to his ranch where the two leaders spent many hours together and deepened their trust. Their talks took place in a very open and frank atmosphere. On the occasion of the 150 th anniversary of U.S.-Japan relations, the leaders confirmed their commitment to strengthening the “Japan-U.S. alliance in the global context.” They engaged in frank exchange of views on missile defense, the economy, the fight against terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, North Korea, Iraq, the Middle East, United Nations reform, and the use of Yokota Airbase for both military and civilian purposes. On the morning of the 23 rd, at the urging of the President, Prime Minister Koizumi along with Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe attended the President's regular intelligence briefing.

· October 17, 2003 (Tokyo): Prime Minister Koizumi held a summit meeting with President Bush during his visit to Japan. The concept of the “Japan-U.S. Alliance in the global context” played an important role in every aspect of their discussion. The two leaders held discussions from the perspective that the Japan-U.S. alliance is very strong and has been contributing to world peace. They confirmed that Japan and the United States will closely cooperate with each other in tackling various issues such as reconstruction of Iraq and North Korea's nuclear issues, while maintaining cooperation with other countries.

· June 11, 2004 (Sea Island, Georgia): Prime Minister Koizumi had a bilateral meeting with President on the occasion of the G8 Summit Meeting. The Prime Minister expressed his condolences over the passing of former President Reagan, emphasizing his significant role in developing the Japan-U.S. alliance. He stated his intention to endeavor for the successful reconstruction of Iraq through the continued dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in a manner welcomed by the Iraqi Interim Government as well as financial assistance through the government's official development assistance (ODA). President Bush stated that he highly values the contribution of Japan. Prime Minister Koizumi conveyed to President Bush that at the Japan-North Korea Summit Meeting on May 22, Mr. Kim Jong-Il, Chairman of the National Defense Committee of North Korea expressed his wish to talk with the U.S. President Bush stated his intention to work toward a resolution of the outstanding issues through the Six-Party Talks. The two leaders also agreed to keep in contact concerning the matter of Mr. Charles R. Jenkins, husband of Mrs. Hitomi Soga, one of the returned abductees. Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush also exchanged opinions on such issues as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), nuclear development of Iran, and United Nations reform.

· September 21, 2004 (New York): Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had a bilateral meeting with the President in New York on the occasion of the 59 th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. He also explained his meetings with the Prime Minister of the Interim Government of the Republic of Iraq, Ayad Allawi, and the President of the Traditional Administration of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai. Prime Minister Koizumi emphasized his firm resolve to continue to make efforts for the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush highly appreciated Japan ’s support for both Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, the Prime Minister expressed his condolences for American hostages killed in Iraq. On the issue of North Korea, the two leaders confirmed the importance of the continuation of Six-Party Talks. Prime Minister Koizumi said to President Bush that Japan is ready to assume responsibility as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, emphasizing the importance of the United Nations reforms and Japan’s role in the maintenance of international peace and security. The President reaffirmed that the position of the United States has been unchanged. Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush also discussed the review of the global military posture by the United States and the review of force structure of U.S. forces in Japan. The talks were held in a frank and relaxed manner reflecting their friendship.

· November 20, 2004 (Santiago, Chile): Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi met with the President in Santiago, Chile, where the 12 th meeting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was held. During the 35-minute meeting, they focused on important issues such as North Korea, Iraq, the transformation of the U.S. military forces and the economy. On the issue of North Korea, President Bush and Prime Minister Koizumi reconfirmed their determination to continue to place importance on the Six-Party Talks process and their effort to pursue a diplomatic solution to dismantle all the nuclear programs of North Korea. On the issue of Iraq, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that Japan intended to continue to do as much as it could and that he would like President Bush to leave it to Japan to decide what kind of assistance Japan should provide, and the President agreed. They also agreed upon the importance of further strengthening the framework of international cooperation to deal with the issue of Iraq. The Prime Minister also appreciated the U.S. support during the hostage incident involving a Japanese national. On the issue of transformation of the U.S. military forces, Prime Minister Koizumi emphasized the importance of maintaining the deterrence capability of U.S. forces in Japan and also of reducing the burden that the U.S. bases are imposing on Japanese communities, including in Okinawa. President Bush reiterated the strategic importance of the presence of U.S. forces in stabilizing the Asia-Pacific region. Both leaders agreed to continue close consultations. On the issue of the economy, President Bush stated that the United State was committed to a strong dollar and that he would work with Congress to reduce the short-term and long-term deficit. Prime Minister Koizumi agreed with the view that a strong dollar has a beneficial impact on the U.S. economy and is also important for the world economy.

· November 16, 2005 (Kyoto): Prime Minister Koizumi held a meeting with President Bush at the Kyoto State Guest House. This was President Bush's first visit to Japan in approximately two years. The two leaders discussed a broad array of issues such as Japan-U.S. relations, China, North Korea, BSE, privatization of postal service, WTO, realignment of U.S. forces, Japan ’s economic reforms, and the United Nations reform. At the conclusion of the meeting, President Bush remarked that Japan-U.S. relations played the role of anchor for peace and stability in the region and in the world, and that as long as Japan-U.S. relations remain strong, the probability for a conflict to break out in the region is low. The Prime Minister and the President concurred in Japan-U.S. cooperation to address issues facing the international community, including peace in the Middle East and avian influenza.

· In addition, the Japan-U.S.-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting was held during the APEC Summit at Los Cabos in October 27, 2002. Also, the two leaders have consulted numerous times by phone.

(2) Meetings between Foreign Minister Aso and Secretary of State Rice

· November 16, 2005 (Busan, South Korea): Minister Taro Aso had the first Foreign Ministers’ meeting with Secretary of State Codoleezza Rice on the occasion of the 17 th APEC Ministerial Meeting held in Busan, Korea.

· December 2, 2005 (Washington DC): Minister Taro Aso visited the United States for the first time as Foreign Minister and met with Secretary Rice. During his visit to Washington DC, Foreign Minister Aso also met with Vice President Cheney, and National Security Advisor Hadley.

(3) Meetings between Speaker Kono and Speaker Hastert of the Houses of Representatives

The Speakers of the House of Representatives of both countries are also in close contact.

· September 11, 2004 (Chicago): Speaker Yohei Kono of the House of Representatives, Japanese Diet had a bilateral meeting with Speaker Dennis Hastert of the House of Representatives, US Congress in Chicago, on the occasion of the G8 Presiding Officers Conference, at which Speaker Hastert Presided.

· August 1, 2005 (Tokyo): Speaker Hastert visited Japan, accompanied by six Members of Congress, and met with Speaker Kono. Speaker Hastert had separate meetings with other Japanese leaders including Prime Minister Koizumi.

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2. Japan-U.S. Security Relationship

(1) Overview

Japan-U.S. relationship in the field of security is based upon the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty originally signed in 1951. It has led to peace and prosperity in Japan and has also functioned effectively as a fundamental framework for stability and development throughout the Asia-Pacific region, where instability and uncertainty still exist even after the end of the Cold War. The forward deployment of the U.S. forces is critical in deterring contingencies in this region.

The Signing of the original U.S.-Japan Security Treaty (1951)

Bettman/CORBIS/Corbis Japan

Japan spends about $5.7 billion per year in relation to the stationing of U.S. Forces in Japan (so-called “host nation support”).. Japan and the United States have made numerous efforts to enhance the credibility of their security cooperation. At the Japan-U.S. Summit meeting held in 1996, Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and President Bill Clinton issued the “Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security Alliance for the 21st Century," (www.jda.go.jp/e/policy/f_work/sengen_.htm) which laid basis for the future posture towards the Japan-U.S. alliance. In this regard, in 1997, Japan and the United States revised the Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation (www.jda.go.jp/e/policy/f_work/sisin4_.htm) to build up a solid basis for more effective and credible Japan-U.S. cooperation under normal circumstances, an armed attack against Japan, and contingencies in the areas surrounding Japan which have a significant influence on Japan’s peace and security (it is officially called “situations in areas surrounding Japan”). To secure the effectiveness of the new Guideline, the Law Relating to Measures for Preserving the Peace and Security of Japan in the Event of a Situation in the Areas Surrounding Japan and the Ship Inspection Operations Law were passed in May 1999 and in December 2000 respectively.

(2) “2+2” Meetings

In June 2002, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and U.S. President George W. Bush agreed to strengthen their security dialogue in various levels in order to set the direction of future security cooperation. As was confirmed in the December 2002 so-called “2+2” meeting (U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee (SCC) attended by the heads of Foreign Ministry and Defense Agency with their U.S. counterparts), the two countries concurred in continuing to strengthen bilateral cooperation (www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/pressreleases/2002/121602.htm).

The first major achievement since then lies in the adoption of the “Common Strategic Objectives,” which were crystallized in the Joint Statement issued at the “2+2” meeting on February 19 in 2005 (http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/security/scc/joint0502.html). The adoption of a set of initiatives and recommendations at the “2+2” meeting on October 29, 2005 constitutes yet another major achievement (http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/twoplustwo.html). The initiatives and recommendations included in the “2+2” document embody the joint endeavor to identify prescriptions for further enhancing the alliance capability. These developments should be regarded as one of the most significant overhauls of the U.S.-Japan Alliance in its history because of the cooperative undertaking to render the Alliance more responsive to emerging security situations and more effective for the future.

(3) Realignment of U.S. Forces

Minimizing the impact of U.S. forces' activities in Japan on residents living in the vicinity of U.S. facilities and areas is also an important issue to ensure the smooth operation of the U.S. forces in Japan. The U.S. government has emphasized the importance of “good neighbor” relations between U.S. forces and residents in Japan. Japan and the United States are cooperating closely in implementing various measures to facilitate the smooth activities of U.S. forces stationed in Japan and to reduce their impact on local communities. In particular, it is vital to reduce the burden on the people of Okinawa, where U.S. facilities and areas are highly concentrated.

The Japanese and U.S. governments are working on the steady implementation of the Final Report of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) drawn up in 1996 (www.jda.go.jp/e/policy/SACO/saco_.htm). As was reaffirmed at the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting on June 30, 2002 and the “2+2” meeting on December 16, 2002, Japan and the United States have continued to cooperate in reducing the burden on the people of Okinawa.

In November 2003, President Bush announced that the United States was reviewing the global military posture in light of the new security environment and wished to strengthen the consultative dialogue on foreign military posture with the U.S. Congress, allies, and friendly countries. Japan and the United States have taken advantage of a number of opportunities for consultations for the ongoing review of global posture of U.S. troops.

For instance, at the “2+2” meeting on February 19, 2005, Japan and the United States stressed the importance of continued efforts to enhance positive relations between local communities and U.S. forces. The two countries emphasized that improved implementation of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), including due attention to the environment, and steady implementation of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) Final Report are important to the stable presence of U.S. forces in Japan.

In preparation for the last “2+2” meeting on October 29, 2005, Japan and the United States consulted in light of their shared commitment to maintain the Alliance’s deterrence and capabilities as well as alleviating burdens on local communities around the U.S. bases in Japan. Such consultations led the two countries to concur in the accelerated relocation of Futenma Air Station of the U.S. Marine Corps at the “2+2” meeting on October 29, 2005.

(4) Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)

Since December 1998, Japan and the United States have been conducting joint research on ballistic missile defense (BMD). In December 2003, considering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, the Japanese Government decided to equip Japan with a multi-tiered ballistic missile defense system, including the Aegis BMD System and the Patriot PAC-3 system. (Note: The system that is the subject of the joint research differs from the systems being currently introduced. This system is aimed at improved capabilities in the future using interceptor missiles.)

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3. Japan-U.S. Economic Relations

Japan and the United States are major trading partners. The United States is Japan's largest trading partner. In 2004, Japan’s imports from the United States account for 14% of Japan's total imports. Japan's exports to the United States make up 22% of Japan's total exports. For the United States, Japan accounts for 9% / 7% of the U.S. imports / exports, respectively. Japan is the largest trading partner of the United States among all the non-NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) member nations and the largest importer of the U.S. farm products. Also, Japan's foreign direct investment in the U.S. totals $177 billion. Japan, whose companies created almost 600,000 jobs in 2003, is the third largest job creators after the UK and Germany.

World GDP in 2004

As the two largest economies in the world, which share approximately 40% of the world GDP, Japan and the United States have important responsibilities for the growth and stability of the global economy. As the amount of trade and investment between Japan and the United States increases, the two economies increasingly become interdependent, which inevitably creates opportunities as well as challenges. Given these factors, Japan and the United States launched the “U.S.-Japan Economic Partnership for Growth” (www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/pmv0106/joint_e.html) in June 2001. The objective of the Partnership is “to promote sustainable growth in both countries as well as the world” by addressing such issues as macroeconomic policies, trade, investment, regulation, and financial issues and by creating fora such as the Sub-Cabinet Economic Dialogue to discuss various economic issues. Based on the Partnership, Japan and the United States have been closely cooperating to tackle bilateral, regional and global issues under multi-layered mechanisms for dialogue from the top leadership to working levels. For example, under the Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy Initiative, which is one of the fora established under the above-mentioned Partnership, the Japanese and U.S. governments have conducted frank and constructive exchange of views on regulations and competition policy. They have made significant progress in reducing regulations, enhancing competition, and improving market access (Fourth Report on November 2005 [PDF] (http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/report0511.pdf)).

While Japan's long-term economic prospects are considered promising, Japan was in its slowest period of economic growth since World War II in the 1990s. The Koizumi administration is committed to addressing such economic issues as non-performing loans and deflation, and to conduct regulatory and other structural reforms, in order to revive the Japanese economy. On October 30, 2002, the Japanese government announced the Comprehensive Measures to Accelerate Reforms (www.mofa.go.jp/policy/economy/japan/measure0210-f.html) and the Program for Financial Revival (www.mofa.go.jp/policy/economy/japan/program0210.html).

Latest economic statistics indicate that the Japanese economy is recovering at a moderate pace. Japan ’s real GDP advanced at an annual rate of 1.0% (- 0.7% in nominal terms) in the third quarter of 2005. It also achieved growth of 1.7% in fiscal year 2004, almost the same as the government’s estimate (2.1%). High growth is expected to continue in 2005. Non-performing loans (NPLs) declined to 2.4% of outstanding loans at the major banks as of September 2005 (It was 8.4% in March 2002 and the government’s goal was to reduce it to the 4% level by March 2005). The Nikkei stock index reached a level of 16,000 JPY last December, rising more than 40% over the past year. The unemployment rate declined to 4.4% in December 2005, almost the lowest level in the past seven years.

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4. Japan-U.S. Cooperation on Global Issues

As the two largest economies in the world, which share approximately 40% of the world GDP, the United States and Japan have closely cooperated for a vast array of global issues. For instance, the two countries launched “Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective” (the Common Agenda) in July 1993 (www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/agenda/gpers.html) to jointly seek solutions to global problems such as increasingly pressing environmental degradation, overpopulation, and damage from both natural and man-made disasters. The Common Agenda consists of four pillars: promoting health and human development; responding to challenges to global stability; protecting the global environment; and advancing science and technology. Under these four pillars, approximately 100 projects in 18 specific areas have been conducted to date:

At the Japan-U.S. summit meeting held at Camp David on June 30, 2001, Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush agreed to expand their cooperation on global challenges. The two leaders also concurred to cooperate in addressing issues facing the international community such as Middle East peace process and avian influenza at the summit meeting held at Kyoto on November 16, 2005. The following are recent examples of Japan-US cooperation on global challenges.

(1) Fight Against Terrorism

Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Japan considers the fight against terrorism as its own and has been vigorously taking various anti-terrorism measures. Japan-U.S. security cooperation was further deepened by support and cooperation under the provisions of the “ Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law.” Specifically, Japan dispatched destroyers and supply ships to the Indian Ocean, mainly to provide at-sea refueling for U.S. and British naval vessels conducting anti-terrorism operations. The Air Self-Defense Force of Japan has also provided airlift support to the U.S. forces. This logistic support for the U.S. Forces has a great significance in enhancing the credibility of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements.

The international community has continued to make united efforts to remove threats brought by the 9.11 terrorist attacks. It is necessary for Japan to play an appropriate role in such efforts of the international community. From this perspective, in October 2005, the Government of Japan decided to extend the duration of the “Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law” and to actively contribute to the international efforts for the prevention and eradication of international terrorism, by dispatching Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) vessels to the Indian Ocean for refueling operations.

(2) Iraq

Not only is it very important from the perspective of peace and stability in the international community to strive for the recovery of Iraq and stability of its people, but it ties directly to the national interests of Japan. From the perspective of taking on recovery efforts and aiding Iraq in cooperation with the international community, including the United States, based upon the “Law Concerning the Special Measures on Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance in Iraq” passed on July 26, 2003 and the “Basic Plan regarding Response Measures” approved in December of that year, Japan has dispatched approximately 600 Ground Self-Defense Forces personnel since 2004 to Samawah, Iraq, where they are engaged in the restoration and repair of water supplies and other public utilities and providing medical treatment. In December of 2005, this Basic Plan was extended for an additional year. Japan is on its way to providing up to $5 billion in recovery aid to Iraq, including a $1.5 billion grant already approved to deal with immediate needs. For recovery over the mid-term, up to $3.5 billion in yen loans will be made to Iraq. Iraqi requests for these loans are currently under evaluation. The United States has thanked Japan time after time for both the aforementioned economic cooperation, and the recovery and restoration efforts made by the Self-Defense Forces, saying it would like to continue its efforts toward Iraqi recovery in cooperation with Japan.

(3) United Nations Reform

Reform of the United Nations and its Security Council are the Koizumi Administration’s highest priorities. Japan aims not only to reform the United Nations as an organization, but to improve both the effectiveness and representation of the Security Council. The United States has consistently supported Japan ’s acquisition of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and during the Japan-U.S. summit of November 16, 2005, the U.S. reconfirmed it would continue to cooperate in this endeavor. The United States also places a great deal of importance on the reform of the UN as a whole, including the Secretariat and UN management, as well as additional reforms in the areas of human rights, development and peace building. Both Japan and the United States continue close consultations on UN reform overall, including the reform of the Security Council.

(4) Disaster Prevention and Relief

In December 2004, when a massive earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra and generated a devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean, then Foreign Minister Machimura and Secretary of State Powell quickly agreed on rapidly setting up an international cooperative framework to deal with the situation. Forming a “Core Group” with Australia and India (with the Netherlands joining later), they took the lead within the international community in coordinating relief efforts among major aid donor countries and the United Nations in the aftermath of the disaster. (The Core Group ended its activities at the conclusion of the Special ASEAN Leader's Meeting on the Aftermath of Earthquake and Tsunami in January, 2005).

(5) Development

In September 2005, then-Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued “Joint Statement: Strategic Development Alliance,” announcing the launch of the U.S.-Japan Strategic Development Alliance and the Common Development Principles (www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/joint0509.html). The Ministers recognized that cooperation between the U.S. and Japan, the world’s two largest donors, will help developing countries implement policies that ensure the most effective use of assistance. They concurred that empowerment of individuals and local communities, good governance, strong democratic institutions, and political stability are critical foundations for sustainable development and poverty alleviation.

(6) Global Warming

The United States is aware of the importance of environmental issues (including global warming), but did not support the Kyoto Protocol. On February 14, 2002, the United States announced a climate change policy that targeted an 18% reduction in emissions of greenhouse gasses per unit GDP by the year 2012. The announcement of this policy by President Bush indicated that the United States is seriously engaging the issue of global warming. While Japan gave high marks to this move, it also argued for the importance of the Kyoto Protocol, further strengthening internal environmental policies in the U.S., and for the United States to take on a constructive role in developing a common set rules for participation in the protocol by all countries, including the U.S. and developing countries. In addition to high, cabinet level consultations that were held with the United States (e.g. the Third High Level Consultation meeting of August 7, 2003 ) on this issue, working level consultations were held in the three areas of science and technology, issues specific to developing countries, and the market mechanism. Further, on July 28, 2005, the United States initiated and Japan joined the “Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate,” which aimed at the development and deployment of clean, efficient technology to address environmental pollution, energy security, and climate change issues to complement the Kyoto Protocol.

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5. 150th Anniversary of Japan-U.S. Relations

The relationship between Japan and the United States began in 1853 with the arrival in Uraga of the black ships commanded by Commodore Matthew Perry, which was followed by the signing of the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Peace and Amity in 1854. Accordingly, the years 2003 and 2004 marked the 150th anniversary of these events.

From those initial encounters to the present, Japan and the United States have overcome various challenges and deepened exchanges in a broad range of fields, including politics, economics and culture, while forging the excellent friendly and cooperative ties that exist today. Beyond the 150th anniversary of this relationship, an important milestone in history, it is hoped that the two countries will be able to further deepen mutual understanding and friendship between their peoples through lively implementation of various exchange projects and build an even more productive relationship for the future.

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