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April 16, 1993

Record of Japan-United States Summit Meeting





Diplomatic Records – Information Disclosure Division


Record of Japan-United States Summit Meeting


April 1993


First North America Division, North American Affairs Bureau


The following is a summary of the main points of the Japan-United States summit meeting between Prime Minister Miyazawa and President Clinton on April 16.


I. Tête-à-tête (Attending, from the United States side was National Security Advisor Lake; from the Japanese side, North American Affairs Bureau Director-General Sato.)


1. Russia


(Prime Minister) It is a great pleasure to meet you. I was looking forward to this meeting. We appreciate the great cooperation that we received from the American delegation recently at the Tokyo conference on assistance to Russia. It was a great help for the United States to set the conference’s underlying tone in the right direction.


(President) We are pleased with the results of the conference. We think highly, Mr. Prime Minister, of what you achieved as host.


The situation in Russia is a difficult one. We have to do what we should do.


(Prime Minister) It is difficult for us to keep up with the United States in assistance to Russia.


(President) You did a lot. I was strongly impressed by the amount of Japanese assistance.


(Prime Minister) Mr. President, I would like to thank you for what you did for President Yeltsin at Vancouver.


After that, Moscow sent Foreign Minister Kozyrev to Japan.  President Yeltsin instructed Foreign Minister Kozyrev to visit Japan ahead of the conference there and to discuss Yeltsin’s visit to Japan with me and Foreign Minister Muto.


I think, Mr. President, that what you said for Japan at Vancouver changed Yeltsin’s feeling and allowed Foreign Minister Kozyrev to prepare for Yeltsin’s visit to Japan.


The Russian side was talking about May or June as a time to visit Japan. The Crown Prince’s wedding is in June, so we suggested late May as a good time. We are waiting for President Yeltsin’s reply.

If President Yeltsin visits Japan, the Foreign Minister and I will be able to have wide-ranging discussions. [TN: part of statement blacked out]


On the basis of that understanding, we proposed to Foreign Minister Kozyrev that we put together a scenario together. We would like to facilitate President Yeltsin’s visit to Japan by doing that.


(President) President Yeltsin will probably have greater freedom of action after the election (as said).

(National Security Advisor Lake, asked by the President about the date of the election, said that he still did not know whether or not President Yeltsin would hold the election.)


(President) President Yeltsin is thinking to remove all traces of imperialism from Russia. He is also talking about withdrawing troops from some of the republics. President Yeltsin spoke quite openly to me about this.


Related to that, the President is also saying that he would try to secure housing for the soldiers. Outside assistance is important for this problem, and I think it would be good if countries outside the G7 were also able to give assistance. [TN: part of statement blacked out]  


The Tokyo conference was wonderful. The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Treasury are both grateful to Japan.


(Prime Minister) I am also grateful to them.


The situation regarding the popular referendum is a difficult one. None of us can expect his obtaining the support of 50 percent of the voters. If he were to obtain 50 percent, that would be enough.


(President) The problem is how much of the vote would President Yeltsin have to win to convince the Russian people that he had gained sufficient support. Between 50 percent of the voters and 50 percent of the votes, the key is how close he can get to 50 percent of the voters.


(In reply to the Prime Minister’s question as to what would happen in the event that the total votes do not reach 50 percent, National Security Advisor Lake explained that there are two interpretations on what would make it invalid and that the Parliament and Yeltsin’s side would be in opposition over it.)


2. The Japan-United States Relationship


(President) The United States and Japan have built a partnership over a long period of time.


I strongly support our commitment on the security side. However, we have difficult problems on the economic side. It seems impossible for us to solve this overnight. In that connection, I would like to make two suggestions.


One of them is, if we could have the Prime Minister’s agreement, I would like to meet two times a year, including the US-Japan meeting at the Summit. The US-Japan relationship is the most important bilateral relationship. Also, in our meeting twice a year, we would be able to send a signal to the rest of the world and its various peoples that we attach importance to this bilateral relationship. As for where to meet, I think that either Washington or Tokyo, or other places convenient to both of us, would be fine.


Furthermore, with the two of us doing that, we would be able to create a precedent for those who come after us. In the next twenty years, we will face formidable challenges. In politics and in security, as well as in the environmental field, we will face bilateral and global issues.


My second proposal is to create a framework to handle structural and sectoral issues. Up to this point, the United States and Japan have repeatedly discussed a number of serious issues. They include supercomputers, agricultural issues in the GATT [General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade], electronics, and aircraft.


(Note: We decided to confirm with the US side’s note taker whether or not there were sectors other than these to which President Clinton had referred. In meeting with National Security Advisor Lake and NEC [National Economic Council] Deputy Director Cutter to discuss a briefing for the press, the other side mentioned seven sectors that President Clinton habitually raised: supercomputers, computers, semiconductors, automobiles, auto parts, agriculture, and minivans. In addition, Bureau Director-General Sato and Bureau Director-General Ogura confirmed in their discussions with Lake and Cutter this point: “President Clinton, in mentioning individual issues at the meeting, was explaining the sense of the issues that was behind the proposal for a ‘framework.’ He did not raise them as the issues to be addressed in the “framework” that the United States and Japan would be discussing henceforth.”


I do not want the US-Japan relationship to fall into a situation in which it is being discussed only in the context of free trade or protectionism. The reality is more complicated than that. For example, and I never would have imagined it, maintaining economic growth has become difficult even in Japan. All the wealthy countries have problems. The unemployment rate in Germany and America has reached 7 percent, and there are even higher unemployment rates in the other European countries. Securing economic growth in these countries is a really great challenge.


Promoting economic growth in developing nations is also important. The United States is trying, without being in violation of the GATT and without discriminating against Japan, to deepen its cooperative relationship with Mexico.


It is not enough to unlock the structural trade deficit. We need to show some forward movement.


We are also making an approach to the countries of Latin America. In addition, we are also trying to extend growth to technological fields.


An issue that once again is now a pressing one is our bilateral trade issue. Concerning the security side of the US-Japan relationship, I can reconfirm to you here, Mr. Prime Minister, our commitment. Also, on the side of cooperation on global issues, cooperation between the United States and Japan on the Russia issue is a recent classic example. The problem is on the economic side but, in fixing this problem, we can feel that the US-Japan relationship in its entirety is moving in the right direction.


(Prime Minister) Concerning the first point, I would also be happy to meet two times a year. Since I have come to the United States this time, other than meeting at the Summit, the next time you would visit Japan, Mr. President, but I am flexible as to the place, and it would be fine with me to come to Washington again.


Concerning the trade imbalance, I think that I would think the same thing if I were in the President’s position. We (Japan), too, have been dealing with this nagging issue and have achieved some results.


That is how it was between 1987 and 1990. With the Plaza Accord, the yen rose in value. In September 1985, one dollar was equal to 240 yen but immediately fell to 200 yen. In the summer of 1986, it reached 150 yen. This sudden rise in the yen’s value put Japanese industry in a difficult situation, but Japan’s businessmen overcame it by making strenuous efforts. In that period, the stimulus policy of 60 billion dollars undertaken when I was finance minister resulted in the economy’s recovery, and the trade imbalance began to narrow. In this period, America’s exports to Japan rose by 70 percent; the growth rate in Japan’s exports to the United States stayed under 20 percent. With the economic slowdown that came, however, the result has been a decrease in imports.


Economic growth is the best way to increase imports. The comprehensive economic policy announced three days ago, together with the measures of August last year, will surely show its effects. I believe that the Japanese economy will, gradually, recover. Together with this, I expect that the trade balance issue, too, should move in the direction of improvement.


Despite such economic stimulus measures, however, I am concerned about the trade balance shrinking to the level that would be acceptable to you, Mr. President. I believe that a sectoral approach and a framework approach are necessary. Mr. President, your proposal is right. Correcting the trade imbalance by the new “framework” approach of which you speak is important for Japan as well.


I think that approach is also important for issues other than those in the economic field. In addition to overall economic, framework, and sectoral issues, I think it good to move forward, including on issues of cooperation in such fields as the environment, high technology, human resource development, communications, and transportation, and in placing emphasis overall on economic issues.


(President) Cooperation between the United States and Japan is beneficial. I am encouraged by the Prime Minister’s thinking. There are many fields in which the United States and Japan can cooperate. The field of technology is one of them.


(After having moved on to another topic)


(Prime Minister) On economic issues, it is important to have a two-way discussion on a wide range of issues.


(President) I think it important that, concerning the US-Japan relationship, my people (Americans) not see it only from an economic viewpoint or only from a viewpoint of bilateral relations. That is because between us there are three components: issues of global responsibility, common security interests, and economic relations.


(At this point, Vice President Gore, Secretary of State Christopher, Secretary of Treasury Bentsen, and I entered the room and moved on to a small group meeting.)


3. The Environment


(President) It has been a disappointment for us that the United States did not sign the Convention on Biological Diversity in Brazil last year. We are now attempting to find a solution by next week with persons related to the environment. I think that, with a slight change (in interpretation), we can achieve our goals. What I would like to ask is to have your support for wording for which I can obtain consensus.  I am now convincing American businessmen to think that they can generate corporate profits from environmental issues, as Japanese businessmen are doing. The approval of other countries for the consensus that I can achieve with the relevant persons in the United States is important, so I would appreciate it if the Government of Japan would take a look at the wording and quickly give its reaction. I have to grasp this opportunity. Therefore, I would like you to quickly let me know your feeling. If Japan thinks there is a problem, I would like you to inform me concerning that point.


II. Small Group Meeting (Attending on the United States side were Vice President Gore, Secretary of State Christopher, Secretary of Treasury Bentsen, National Security Advisor Tony Lake, NEC Deputy Director Cutter; attending on the Japanese side were Ambassador Kuriyama, North American Affairs Bureau Director-General Sato, and First North America Division Director Ozawa (note taker).)


1. President’s Opening Remarks


(President) I heard from Secretary of State Christopher and Secretary of Treasury Bentsen right after their return from Tokyo. Both men appreciated Japan’s response on assistance to Russia. I think that Japan made a generous commitment of assistance to Russia.


The tête-à-tête meeting was a very good one. We agreed to meeting two times a year. We agreed to create a framework for discussing economic issues, in which both sectoral issues and framework issues are raised. We also agreed to take up within it appropriate bilateral cooperation projects. Before today’s joint press conference, I would like those involved to work on what language to use to announce this.


The reason that I am having the Vice President attend this meeting is that, since he is going to attend the funeral for Senator Thurmond’s daughter, the Vice President will not be able to attend today’s lunch meeting. The Vice President has been very active on the environment.


(Prime Minister) I have heard a high assessment of Vice President Gore from Diet Member Kosugi.


(Vice President) I am familiar with Diet Member Aichi as well. It is an honor to meet you today, Mr. Prime Minister. The economic issue tends to be the focus of the US-Japan relationship, but I have been looking forward to being able to talk today issues in other fields.


2. The Issue of the Environment


(Vice President) Japan showed leadership in the making of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Other than this, the Convention of Biological Diversity was put together at the Rio environmental conference, but the United States was unable to sign it due in part to the issue of intellectual property rights. Resolution of this problem would be relatively easy by an interpretive declaration. It would be highly welcomed if Japan were also to join this declaration. The Clinton administration would be happy to have quickly from the Japanese side a positive response.


(Prime Minister) Once I have returned, I would like to ask for views, and consider it.


(Vice President) That would be fine. I think that, if we could work together, the impact would be great. The United States would like to sign this treaty for the sake of the world.


(After other topics)


(Prime Minister) By the way, a seminar on the environment will be held in Washington in May. The seminar has the backing of former Prime Ministers Takeshita and Kaifu. If the Vice President were to give a speech at this seminar, I believe that those involved would feel honored.


(Vice President) Mr. Prime Minister, I am greatly impressed by your personal invitation. Former Prime Minister Takeshita is enthusiastic about the GLOBE [Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment] program. GLOBE’s Japanese delegation always has outstanding members in it. As this is the Prime Minister’s direct request, I would like to try to attend this seminar and give a talk at it.


3. Assistance to Russia


(President) I have heard in detail from Secretaries Christopher and Bentsen the contents of the G7 Joint Ministerial Conference held in Tokyo. Actually, in the tête-à-tête meeting, the Prime Minister asked: nobody in the democratic countries can obtain 50 percent or more of the votes, so how in fact would that be possible for Yeltsin?


Certainly, that is the way it is. For example, if the question were on of supporting a policy, I believe that it would be a much lower number in the democratic countries. The Prime Minister asked me what in fact would happen in Russia in the event that the Parliament governed. I (Clinton) said that I would continue to support Japan’s position on the Northern Territories issue. However, come to think of it, what kind of communique would in fact be issued at the time of Yeltsin’s visit to Japan? What in fact would be the situation in Russia?


(Secretary of State) I think that Yeltsin would obtain above 50 percent of the total votes but would not have above 50 percent of the electorate. Even if that were the case, we think that everyone together should say that Yeltsin won. Obtaining above 50 percent of the total votes has traditionally been the basis of democracy, not an absolute majority. Therefore, what international society says is important, so we would like everyone to support it. At that time, I think that we should also express our support for what the Yeltsin administration is doing in the areas of democracy and human rights.



In the event that Yeltsin ends up with less than 50 percent of the total votes, the need will arise to watch carefully how the situation goes. No matter how it goes, I think that we will continue henceforth to call for the three points of diplomacy: democracy, market economy, and “law and justice.” How does the Japanese side see it?


(Prime Minister) Japan’s information on Russia is poor compared to that of the United States.


(Secretary of State) Yeltsin has been conducting an ardent campaign and seems confident.


(President) This is something I discussed on the telephone (as the other side said), I think it extremely important, Mr. Prime Minister, that you, Kohl, Mitterrand, Major, and I make a statement with a single voice immediately after the popular referendum. Therefore, I would like us to agree to issue the strongest possible statement on Russia. I think that, because Russians often watch such television as CNN, it could have a great impact. In Secretary Christopher’s prediction, Yeltsin’s position will not be legally decided as a result of the popular referendum. There is an outlook that 60 percent of the voters will vote and that 60 percent of them will support Yeltsin. I would like to cooperate closely on sending a signal to Russia.


(Prime Minister) I would like to do so.


(President) Japan’s assistance package for Russia had a great impact. It will prime the pump for the cooperation of other countries.


(Prime Minister) I think so. Yeltsin is the only president to be elected by popular referendum. Japan has repeatedly spoken of its support for Yeltsin’s reform line. I would like to cooperate together at the G7.


(Secretary of State) I would like to raise two points about the US assistance package for Russia that we announced in Japan. For the disposal of nuclear weapons, we have decided to add 400 million dollars to the 800 million dollars. Well aware of Japan’s position on this matter and announced cooperation, we hope for a matching amount. Second, we hope for Japan to show further interest in the privatization fund. We think that it was not possible for Japan to give a response at the time of the visit to Japan, but we hope later for a matching amount.


(Secretary of Treasury) The privatization fund is extremely important for Russia’s major enterprises. Europe was not so enthusiastic at the Tokyo Conference, but increasing the privatization fund is very important. We have spoken with Russian Central Bank Chairman Gerashchenko. He says that, so long as Yeltsin does not have control of the Central Bank, the situation will not improve. It is important to have the Central Bank understand that point. For that, the privatization of the major enterprises must be carried out.


(Prime Minister) Speaking of the Central Bank, I think that, after all, its job is regulation and supervision. As for the privatization fund, it seems that Europe still is not ready. We, too, would like to continue considering it. My understanding of the US proposal is that the United States would contribute 500 million dollars of the 2 billion dollars and, eventually, with the cooperation of international organs, would make it a fund of 4 billion dollars. This should not be a social safety net. We must not do something like hand out money to lazy workers. What do you think concerning small and medium enterprises?


(Secretary of Treasury) There is progress on small and medium enterprises. Concerning large enterprises as well, we have called on the Saudis and others. It is by no means a safety net but aid to them to change into even more productive industry.


(President) I would like to discuss your thinking on another issue discussed by telephone, which is setting up an office in Russia and coordinating the flow of assistance funds. Yeltsin really wants this in order to ensure against waste. This is probably somewhat sensitive, but I believe that we should manage what should be done when technical experts go into Russia. Naturally, there is the difficult problem of who, from which countries, creating what kind of organization, is going to carry this out. Mr. Prime Minister, you asked me on the telephone if I had someone particular in mind. I said that I did not. As the United States, Japan, and Germany will probably be the large-scale donor countries, I am wondering how it would be if we made the director someone acceptable to these three countries and include representatives from each country, but I have no specific proposal. Even if reforms continue, problems will remain in the future. I am thinking, then, for example, that it would be good if we set up a supervisory office for a period of five years. I think that doing so will lead to reducing the wasting of funds.


(Prime Minister) The reason that I asked the question on the telephone is that this matter is a sensitive operation, so I think that the director must be someone knowledgeable about capable enterprises. It is an operation where the problem of a power struggle among countries could easily arise. Yeltsin said that he welcomes this, but there is also the issue of whether it could really continue to be that way. I think that the issue of Russian national pride could arise. Considering Russia’s nationalism, managing via foreign representatives may be risky.


(Vice President) However, I think that, Yeltsin having taken such factors into consideration, this matter is fine. Also, if an appropriate person were found, would this not be a good idea?


(Prime Minister) To speak only of Japan’s position, I think that we are in a relatively good position. I do not think that Japan would become a target, but the United States probably would become one.


(Secretary of Treasury) For example, looking at the oil industry, when you send people, there are various problems, such as interpreting, intellectual property rights, and such, and they face various kinds of red tape. Therefore, I think it necessary to overcome this red tape in setting up an organization and stationing people there.


(Prime Minister) Japan has the experience, related to the export of natural gas machinery, of agreeing with Russia on an escrow account for trade insurance. However, there is no movement on this matter. [TN: rest of line blacked out]


(Secretary of State) We have the experience of having placed offices in each country when we implemented the Marshall Plan. It is certainly necessary to act with sensitivity and care, but implementation is possible. Learning from this experience, will this not work out if we look for people who understand business?


4. Issue of Inviting Suharto to the G7


(Prime Minister) I would like to discuss a sensitive issue. I have already spoken of this with Secretary Christopher. It is the issue of inviting Indonesia’s President Suharto to the Summit as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement. I strongly hope to communicate to the leaders of the G7 that Suharto and the Non-Aligned Movement, with the end of the Cold War, are shifting to a cooperative line with the advanced countries. [TN: part of statement blacked out] Indonesia is a regional power, a developing country but one with great potential. Since Suharto is influential as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, I would like create an opportunity for Suharto in some form as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement to communicate a message to the G7 leaders.[TN: several lines blacked out] We have to decide this before the next Sherpa meeting, so I would like you to consider this.


(President) We are inclined to see him. As for under what circumstances it would be appropriate to see him, I am prepared to leave it to you, Mr. Prime Minister, as the host, and see Suharto. I think that Indonesia is a country of limitless possibilities. Also, the Non-Aligned Countries are starting to take a more realistic line. I think this would also be good for relations between the United States and Japan.


(Prime Minister) That would be wonderful. I believe that this would be an excellent opportunity for the President of the United States to show friendship and good will. We have a great interest in the future of the Non-Aligned Countries. I would like the Foreign Minister and the Secretary of State to continue talks on this matter.


(Secretary of State) Actually, I discussed this matter with Minister Muto. [TN: several lines blacked out] I think going ahead with care on this issue would be suitable. Also, the position of the United States may be different from that of the European countries.


(President) In a sense, this matter may become a valuable precedent. I think that the Non-Aligned Countries having a dialogue with the G7 would be a good thing.


(Prime Minister) I would be very happy if you think that way about it. I think that it would have a positive effect.


5. The Japan-United States Economic Relationship


(Secretary of Treasury) There is one more issue whose importance I will emphasize, and that is the economy. We cannot continue with the present trade imbalance. I think that continuing this way will only bring on a recession or bring about protectionism in the United States. We have to deal with this issue. It has to be our greatest concern. In a number of sectors, could we not build some kind of relationship?


(Prime Minister) Japan’s huge imbalance is very embarrassing. We did have in the past some success in correcting the imbalance with the Plaza Accord and in the latter half of the 1980s. Between 1987 and 1992, the United States increased its exports to Japan by 70 percent. Concerning this matter, macroeconomic strategy is important, but I believe that a sectoral approach is probably necessary as well. However, I do not subscribe to setting goals or to such thinking as TQI [temporary quantitative indicators]. I think it important for people in the business world to gain a better understanding and to increase transparency.


(Secretary of Treasury) I think that it is important to be able to measure success.


(President) The structure of US exports to Japan is also a subject of concern. Certainly, aircraft are a major good, but after that there are many primary commodities. As for semiconductors, I think that (the agreement) had an impressive effect. Also, I am hoping for progress on auto parts.


(Prime Minister) US exports to Japan are greater than the total for its exports to Germany, France, and Italy. Japan, for the United States, is the second importing power, after Canada. The imbalance is not the result of regulations. When President Bush came to Japan, we brought up the issue of auto parts. In the first six months of fiscal year 1992, there was seen a 20 percent increase in imports compared to the previous year. Also, through design-in, Japanese automobile companies are using American parts in production, so I think that they will naturally increase in the future, so I think that is a good thing. There were 200 million dollars of imports in 1987. They have now grown to 1 billion dollars, quadrupling in only four years. As for automobiles, in the midst of a decline of 10 percent in 1992 by comparison to 1991, US automobiles saw an increase of 10 percent. This shows that US enterprises are making efforts, but their share is 2 percent. Its difficulty in growing is due in part to the recession, but I believe that, with recovery from the recession, they will naturally recover. What I would like to point out is that there is no commitment on auto parts.


(Secretary of Treasury) On the point of their naturally increasing, I would hope so. The United States is in surplus with Europe. I think that we are globally competitive.


(Prime Minister) The government has decided to adopt an economic stimulus policy of 116 billion dollars, including in it supercomputer procurement. I hope that US enterprises submit bids.


(Vice President) Will personal computers also be included in the government procurement?


(Prime Minister) Not particularly.


(Vice President) I hear that, in contrast to the private market, where the US share is around 40 percent, it accounts for around 1 percent of government procurement. I would like you to correct me if I am mistaken in my understanding.


(Prime Minister) Is that right? I hear that it is 10 percent of government procurement. I do not think that there would be discrimination, whether it were an elementary school or such.


(President) With this economic stimulus policy, how much economic growth can be expected?


(Prime Minister) Including the multiplier effect, an increase to GNP of 2.6 percent has been calculated.


6. Assistance to Vietnam


(Prime Minister) [TN: part of statement blacked out] [Prime Minister] Kiet was saying that Vietnam is sincerely cooperating on the POW/MIA issue. I believe that Vietnam will respond sincerely when General Vessey visits Vietnam. Vietnam wishes to return to international society.


(President)[TN: part of statement blacked out] I met yesterday with General Vessey. I would like an early resolution of this issue. [TN: part of statement blacked out] During the presidential election campaign, even when I went to small towns, there were people who said that they wanted to know the truth about the POW/MIA issue. [TN: rest of statement, several lines, blacked out]


7. Eastern Europe


(Vice President) Because assistance to Russia is overemphasized, assistance to Eastern Europe tends to be forgotten, but I hear that Japan has a long-term view and has taken the initiative for US-Japan cooperation on Eastern Europe. I do not know the details, but I think that it would be worth introducing it here.


(Prime Minister) In deciding assistance to Russia, we are including the NIS [Newly Independent States] in it. Also, for example, in sending materials to Russia, we could see whether or not those materials were in Czechoslovakia and then, with Japanese funds, pay for those materials. (Afterwards, North American Affairs Bureau Director-General Sato explained Japan’s initiative on Japan-US cooperation to the Vice President.)


8. The Visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan to the United States


(President) I understand that there is going to take place in Japan a grand marriage ceremony of the Imperial Household. I would like once more to invite Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan to visit the United States.


(Prime Minister) I thank you for your invitation. I would like to communicate this to Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress. I would like to realize this at a suitable time. President Clinton, I heard that, at the time of the passing of the Emperor Showa [Emperor Hirohito], you signed the condolence book at our Consulate-General in New Orleans. I would like to express my respect for your sentiment.


(President) I remember well signing the condolence book.


III. Expanded Working Lunch (Those attending, from the United States side, were Secretary of State Christopher, Secretary of Treasury Bentsen, United States Trade Representative Kantor, National Security Advisor Lake, NEC Director Rubin, Deputy National Security Advisor Berger, NEC Deputy Director Cutter, National Security Advisor to the Vice President Firth, Ambassador Armacost; from the  Japanese side, were Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kondo, Ambassador Kuriyama, North American Affairs Bureau Director-General Sato, Economic Affairs Bureau Director-General Ogura, Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister Takeuchi, First North America Division Director Ozawa (note taker).)


1. Initial Exchange


(President) This dining room has been for family use until now.


(Prime Minister) Around how many times each month does the President eat out?


(President) In the sense of leaving town, it is around three times a month.


I actively go on trips around the country to whip up popular support. Tomorrow I’m going to Pittsburgh. Honestly, I would like to go on a trip once a week.


(Prime Minister) How are the prospects for the President’s economic stimulus policy?


(President) It has run into a filibuster. Is there the filibuster in Japan?


(Prime Minister) No, there is not. In Japan, we have the “cow-walk.” (Everyone laughs)


(President) The idea of the filibuster is to guarantee that debate takes place from every angle before the Senate’s vote. The minority’s blocking the majority is the abuse of the filibuster system. Secretary Bentsen is an expert on this.


2. North Korea


[TN: entire section blacked out]


3. China


(President) What is your thinking on China? In the United States, there is strong support for granting conditional MFN [most favored nation status]. [TN: rest of statement blacked out]


(Prime Minister) [TN: all of statement blacked out]


4. Cambodia


(National Security Advisor Lake) I highly appreciate Japan’s participation in PKO [peacekeeping operations] in Cambodia. It is highly appreciated that, facing a difficult situation, with elections coming and despite the recent deaths of Japanese, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces are staying on the scene. I think that it was an important decision for the United Nations. How do you see the future situation?


(Prime Minister) The situation will probably grow intense as we head towards the elections from May 23 to 27, but I think that the problem will be after the elections. I think that there is no way to unify the country but in welcoming Sihanouk as president. In any event, the scenario is unclear.


5. The Asia-Pacific


(President) The United States cannot act in Asia without the support of Japan.


(Prime Minister) The presence of the United States in Asia is indispensable. [TN: part of statement blacked out] Each country in Asia is diverse, with an economy at a different level of development and having different threat perceptions.  [TN: part of statement blacked out] It is the US military that is a factor of stability in the region and whose presence is essential. That is the very reason why Japan offers support of 4.6 billion dollars in Host Nation Support. It is in our interest that we are doing this. [TN: several lines of statement blacked out]


It is the United States this year that is hosting the APEC Ministers’ Meeting. I would like you to take advantage of this opportunity to promote Asian diplomacy.


(President) (Nods positively)


6. Haiti


(Deputy National Security Advisor Berger) I hear that Japan recently decided to contribute 2.5 million dollars for the Haiti issue. I would like to express my gratitude.


(President) I would like to express my gratitude. [TN: part of statement blacked out]


(Secretary of State Christopher) I am very happy, after such somewhat dark subjects as Cambodia. We would like to support President Aristide and support Haiti’s return to a democracy.


7. Bosnia


(President) At today’s press conference, unfortunately, the questions will probably focus on Bosnia.

[TN: part of statement blacked out] The Secretary of State came in late to lunch due to this matter, so I would like to have him explain it.


(Secretary of State Christopher) There is the issue of a United Nations resolution for additional sanctions against Serbia. I think that Serbia’s weak points are that it is losing hard currency and there is a tightening in petroleum products. [TN: part of statement blacked out] On the other hand, the Serbian military has advanced to a kilometer of Srebrenica and the city is close to falling. [TN: part of statement blacked out] Now the time has come to show a determined attitude with a sanctions resolution.


(Prime Minister) I think it unforgivable for Europe to look away from the issue of Bosnia. I think that they should take responsibility.


(President) Bosnia is a difficult issue for two reasons. First, to begin with, it is a difficult place, something that Hitler fully experienced in the Second World War. Only Tito was able to bring order there. Second, as for the European countries taking some sort of measures, they have been more passive than us.


I think that, certainly, the United States has a responsibility and capabilities that other countries do not. However, the United States cannot act in a way contrary to the intentions of other Security Council member countries that are near Bosnia. Even if the United States shows leadership to the European countries, we are not going to overcome their opposition and act. I think that strengthening economic sanctions would be appropriate.


(National Security Advisor Lake) I think that the interest of a country like Japan on this issue is influential in changing Europe’s perception.


8. Uruguay Round


(President) Let us have USTR [United States Trade Representative] Kantor explain the path forward that we should take for the Uruguay Round.


(United States Trade Representative Kantor) The United States Government is seeking from the Congress an extension of the fast-track deadline. We have to finish the UR [Uruguay Round] negotiations by December 15. I think that setting this deadline will put the UR negotiations in full swing. I have been speaking with the Quadrilaterals and would like to have a preliminary agreement on market access by the Summit. Realizing this agreement will not only contribute greatly to promoting the UR negotiations but will enable us to declare an achievement with content and not repeat at the Tokyo Summit wording that aims once again for a year-end agreement. The plan is, after meeting in Canada on May 14, to meet in Paris in the beginning of June. This will be an agreement only on the market access part in the agricultural, industrial, and service sectors.


(Prime Minister) Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kondo here was previously minister of agriculture. That means that he is someone well acquainted with such issues as market access and the like. Japan, too, would be amenable to advancing market access negotiations until the Summit. Japan is willing to go all the way on market access, including the insurance and financial sectors, in order to make the UR a success. The present state of the UR negotiations is complicated and difficult. I hear that the United States in the Dunkel plan is arguing that there are problems with the issues of export subsidies, intellectual property rights, and the MTO [Multilateral Trade Organization]. Japan truly is worried about the revision of Super 301, anti-dumping, and such. Also, there is the issue of tariffication


(United States Trade Representative Kantor) In any case, it is necessary that we talk with each other. I think that an agreement on market access would give confidence and momentum to the negotiators.


(Prime Minister) Japan would need to revise its Staple Food Control Act to accept tariffication. The Liberal Democratic Party holds a majority in the Diet House of Representatives but is a minority party in the House of Councillors. So long as that is the situation, we cannot realize a revision to the law.

[TN: rest of statement blacked out]


(President) The United States also has something like that.


(United States Trade Representative Kantor) For the EC [European Community], too, in France and Portugal there is the problem of agriculture. However, if we recognize a national exception to tariffication for one country, then everyone is going to ask for an exception.


(President) So, then, are we not going to be able to agree on agriculture?


(Prime Minister) No, I think that we can reach a realistic agreement on agriculture. [TN: rest of statement blacked out]


(President) [TN: statement blacked out]


(Prime Minister) [TN: part of section blacked out] In fact, there was an opportunity in 1951, under the Occupation, to undo the staple food control system. At the time a decision had been made to undo the controls, but right before that happened China sent military reinforcements into North Korea, so the decision to undo the staple food controls ended up being withdrawn. This was perhaps the only chance to give up the staple food control system. The history is that, after that, under the staple food control system, the farmers became wealthy, consumption also grew, and this led to increased industrial production.


(President) I am also always saying so concerning that history.


(Prime Minister) To avoid misunderstanding, I would like to tell you that 30 percent of agricultural land is fallow.


9. The United Nations


(President) I highly appreciate Japan’s assistance for Cambodia and Somalia. I would like to take this opportunity to confirm my support for Japan’s joining the Security Council as a permanent member. I still really do not know what would be the best way to realize this, but I think that Japan’s joining the Security Council is appropriate because Japan, for example, has shown real leadership in the role it has played in assistance to Russia and because of Japan’s high standing in the Asia-Pacific region. I would like to speak more concretely about this in the future. I think that, in this world of much danger and suffering, the United Nations must play more of a role. I think that, in that, the Security Council should reflect not the past situation but the situation today.


(Prime Minister) I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for your support. [TN: rest of statement blacked out]


(Secretary of State Christopher) The Prime Minister is familiar with the sensitivity of this issue. When reform of the Security Council is discussed, other countries also have an interest in it. Inevitably, it invites debates over which countries would be suitable. However, among them, Japan’s joining the Security Council is justified. The United States would like to work in close consultation with Japan so that this matter does not become a political contest.


This record contains summaries of: (1) the tête-à-tête meeting between President Clinton and Prime Minister Mizazawa; (2) a small group meeting involving the President and Prime Minister, as well as several senior members of the US and Japanese cabinets; and (3) an expanded working lunch. Topics of discussion included U.S.-Japan strategic and economic relations, climate change, the Uruguay Round, policies towards Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Haiti, and China, and Japan's status at the United Nations. Various portions of the document were withheld, including an entire section on North Korea.

Document Information


Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, File No. 2014-00538. Translated by Stephen Mercado.


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