Thursday 10 June 2004
I. OPENING STATEMENT
PRIME MINISTER JUNICHIRO
KOIZUMI: First of all, I should like to express from the very
bottom of my heart condolences for the passing of President
Ronald Reagan who was deeply respected by the people of the
United Sates and who left many important achievements. Also
I should like express my heartfelt gratitude to President Bush,
who chaired the summit meeting this time, as well as other members
of the US Government for organizing the summit successfully,
and to the people of Georgia for their very warm hospitality
It was in 1975 when
the first G7 summit meeting took place in Rambouillet, France.
This is the 30th meeting since. At that first summit the leaders
gathered following the oil crises, when the price of crude oil
shot up from 1 to 2 dollars to per barrel to 10 dollars or more.
And all consumers around the world were hurt seriously economically.
In Japan, as it was dependent on overseas oil supplies for 99
percent of its consumption, the damage on Japan was significant.
Immediately following that oil crisis, for one full year, Japan experienced
very rapid inflation of 20 percent per year. Now thirty years
since, Japan is going through deflation, a situation that it
has not experienced before and we are in the process of overcoming
that. So it is a far cry from 30 year ago.
Back in those days,
the industrialized countries got together to figure out how
to overcome the oil crisis. So five industrial countries--the
United States, UK, France, Germany, and Japan got together at
that time. We have now grown into a Group of Eight. Over the
past 39 years many incidents took place around the world. Year
on year, leaders of the industrialized countries got together
for these G5, G7, and G8 summits.
This time we discussed
rising oil prices, Iraq, the Middle East, the DPRK, and the
world economic situation. We are all faced with numerous problems,
so we had fairly meaningful meeting.
Each time we have different
items of the agenda, but we all face common political, economic,
and social problems, and there's no change in that the G8 leaders
come together to discuss how to address these problems. This
time we took up the terrorism issue, Iraq, the DPRK, rising
oil prices, and I believe we were able to exchange our views
Especially with regard to Iraq, the transfer of sovereignty and also
toward reconstruction support for Iraq, a new UN Security Council
resolution was adopted unanimously, and the G8 Summit was indeed
held in the most timely manner. Middle East and African leaders
took part in the G8 Summit meetings this time. Especially the
new president of the Interim Government of Iraq, President al-Yawar,
took part as well. With the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq,
a stable and democratic government has to be put in place. What
is most important in this regard is that the Iraqis themselves
showed to the international community their will to rebuild
their society with their own hands.
Those who will reconstruct
and establish a stable democratic government is not the United
States, the G8 countries, or the United Nations. It is the Iraqis
themselves who have to overcome the confrontation and conflict
between the pro- and anti-American forces and show their will
to the international community that they are going to rebuild
their own society. The UN and the international community has
been showing their willingness to cooperate with Iraq's reconstruction
and stabilization. And that is why this new resolution was passed
by the UNSC for the transfer of sovereignty and reconstruction
of that country. Japan shall also provide its contribution to
humanitarian and reconstruction support for Iraq that most suits
With regard to the
world economy, unlike last year we now see many brighter signs.
This improving trend of the world economy should be further
carried forth in such a manner that all the countries concerned
carry out reforms to make this recovery more sustainable.
The Japanese economy
has long remained stagnant. This is the third year of my administration,
but there is no change in my view that there can be no economic
growth without structural reform. Since taking office, the government
has set its economic goals, and I believe improvements are taking
place as we had envisioned, or even better than that. And by
carrying forward reform we would like to see to it that it would
lead to sustainable economic growth, and I would like to further
grow these fledging reforms into a large, blossoming flower.
Alongside the robust economic growth, rapid growth is also continuing
in China, our neighbor. We should take advantage of these favorable
conditions, and Japan should also grow its own economy so that
we can contribute to the world economy as a whole.
Turning to the DPRK,
last month I paid my second visit to Pyongyang following my
first visit on September 17 the year before last. I met with
Chairman Kim Jong Il and discussed the abduction issue, nuclear
program dismantlement, and the missile issue. These issues need
to be resolved comprehensively. I said that there is no change
in this basic attitude, and I visited Pyongyang again to make
further progress in this regard. We believe that nuclear program
dismantlement is a matter of the greatest concern for the international
The six-party talks
are about to be held involving the US, Russia, China, Korea,
and Japan as well the DPRK. We should take advantage of this
opportunity to encourage the DPRK to become a responsible member
of the international community.
On development, one
of the themes we discussed was that we have to give importance
to the environment, and I stressed this point. During the days
of rapid economic growth, for a bout a decade Japan experienced
double digit economic growth year after year. Alongside that
economic growth, we also experienced its negative aspects in
the form of environmental pollution. Be it a developing or developed
country, as we try to grow our economies we also have to pay
due consideration to the environment, and from that perspective
I suggested that we need to work on the three Rs: to reduce,
reuse, and recycle waste. We have to attach greater importance
to these three Rs, and the leaders at the G8 this time saw eye
to eye on this.
countries, the Middle East, and the G8 leaders--expressed their
views very candidly. I think that the summit meeting was very
meaningful. So once again I would like to express my gratitude
to President Bush, who organized this meeting, as well as to
the American people for their kind hospitality. Now I would
like to entertain questions you may have.
II. Question on Japan's Role in Iraq's Reconstruction
HIDEO KOIKE, NHK: During
the summit, there was unanimous agreement to join hands to support
Iraqi reconstruction. However, France and Germany still maintained
their position not to take part in the multinational force.
Do you think that Japan has a role to play to build an effective
international cooperation. Now that the SDF's participation
in the multinational force is controversial, even within the
LDP, how would you explain this to the Japanese people?
PRIME MINISTER KOIZUMI:
I had a talk with President Yawar of the Iraqi Interim Government.
President Yawar said that he highly regards Japan's Self-Defense
Forces and the humanitarian and reconstruction support. And
he is very grateful for that support. Building on the unanimous
approval of the UNSC resolution, Japan wishes to provide support
that is suitable to Japan as a responsible member of the international
community. There will be a multinational force, and within that
force we would like consider how best the SDF can contribute
in the humanitarian and reconstruction support area. Upon my
return to Japan I will consult with the various people concerned
and figure out what sort of support and cooperation would be
most appropriate for Japan.
The stability of Iraq
will have a major bearing not just on the Middle East but on
the world as a whole, including Japan. Therefore I believe that
Japan also has to seriously think about its support.
III. Question on Reducing Iraq's Debt
SAVANNAH MORNING NEWS: Prime Minister, I wonder if you can talk
a little bit about Iraqi debt relief. I know that last year
you said Japan would be proactive. I wonder if could put a figure
to that or say if you would lead the way.
PRIME MINISTER KOIZUMI:
With regard to Iraq's debt reduction, Japan wishes to remain
flexible. Japan is the largest creditor vis-a-vis Iraq in the
world, and depending on the numbers that you use and whether
or not you include the private sector, the figures can differ.
Nevertheless, there is no change in the fact that Japan is the
largest creditor. If we speak only in terms of government credit,
I believe it is between 4 billion to 7 billion dollars. As the
largest creditor, how far debt will be reduced certainly will
have a bearing on Japan itself. We also believe that the debt
of Iraq should not shackle Iraq's reconstruction. This rate
of reduction has be discussed at the Paris Club. And of course
there are many other countries with significant amounts of credit
vis-a-vis Iraq. So Japan wishes to remain flexible. The decision
on what percentage the debt reduction would be has not been
decided. But as far as Japan is concerned, we will remain flexible
so there will stability during reconstruction in Iraq.
IV. Question on the DPRK
KIYOSHI GOJIMA, SANKEI
SHIMBUN: During the Summit this time, you explained the Japanese
position vis-a-vis the DPRK in detail. Was there understanding
of this from other leaders? Based on the outcome of this summit,
how will the Government of Japan achieve the comprehensive resolution
of the DPRK, including the nuclear, abduction, and normalization
PRIME MINISTER KOIZUMI:
I've met with Mr. Kim Jong Il twice. The first meeting on September
17 the year before last, and once again last month. I saw a
slight change in Mr. Kim's attitude between the two meetings.
At the first meeting, he showed strong resentment toward the
United States. This time, I felt he was seeking dialogue with
the United States. With regard to the abduction issue, the first
time he said the issue was already resolved. Last month, once
again he said once again that the abduction issue had been resolved.
But I said no, it has not been entirely resolved, and we got
him to say that he would reinvestigate this.
With regard to the
dismantlement of the nuclear program, Mr. Kim stated clearly
that the ultimate goal will be the denuclearization of the Korean
Peninsula. Also with regard to the freezing of the nuclear program,
he also explicitly said he takes for granted that verification
should follow this freezing. Now I said, look at the benefits
you would get by developing a nuclear program and the support
you may get for that, and also consider the benefits you would
gain by giving up the nuclear program. If you dismantle the
nuclear program and become a responsible member of the international
community, then the benefits he would get would be full-scale
economic cooperation, including energy support, food support,
and so on. The benefits he would gain from hanging on to nuclear
program would be miniscule. So dismantlement would bring far
greater benefits to the DPRK. This is a point I stressed to
Mr. Kim. There is much hope that he would address these issues
with calmness and in good faith. It is true that there is a
lot of mistrust, but I hope that Mr. Kim will engage in a sincere
exchange of views at the six-party talks that will take will
place later this month.
If he intends to dismantle,
I hope that in the six-party talks, he will state clearly his
views where the United States is present. Of course, such an
expression may be at a bilateral meeting or a multilateral one.
I said to President Bush that he should get out what the DPRK
says in bilateral meetings in action as well. Also I hope that
the DPRK will also show in attitude its will to become a responsible
member of the international community.
Above all, I believe
that a diplomatic and peaceful resolution is necessary. To that
end, Japan will continue to work on the abduction, nuclear,
and missile issues in a comprehensive manner so we will ultimately
arrive at the normalization of relations. I believe Mr. Kim
is seeking his own personal security from the United States.
I also think that he is seeking economic cooperation from Japan.
To that end, all countries at the six-party talks should indicate
to the DPRK that it is necessary for it to give up its nuclear
program. Without this, and without a final resolution of the
abduction issue, there cannot be normalization of relations
between Japan and the DPRK. And without normalization, there
cannot be full-fledged economic cooperation from Japan. We will
continue with our efforts to engage in dialogue in cooperation
and coordinate with other countries so that we can somehow move
in a better direction.
V. Question on Japan
MAX SATO, AFP: Mr.
Prime Minister, how much do you think Japan is representing
the interests of other Asian countries at the G8. And do you
think it's better to bring in other countries, such as China,
to the G8, or is it better to leave China outside the G8 meetings.
PRIME MINISTER KOIZUMI:
The G8 does not think of G8 interests alone. The economic growth
of the world, reduction of poverty, security, and counterterrorism--there
are many things that the G8 contributes of the development of
the world. That is what the G8 Summit works on. Of course, Japan
thinks about Asia. Japan, of course, has been promoting economic
cooperation with China, Korea, and ASEAN. We have deep mutual
interdependence. We also discussed Africa this time. We hope
that Africa will learn from the effort that Japan has been making.
We're planning on holding an Asia-Africa trade and investment
conference in Tokyo this coming fall. So, the G8 does not only
think about problems of the G8, we also think about the problems
of Africa and Asia, and the world's problems, and we as developed
countries are thinking what we can do. We intend to discharge
our responsibilities. That is what the G8 is. And as a member
of Asia, and as a member of the G8, we wish to discharge our
own responsibilities by always attention to not just Asia but
to the entire world as well.