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The Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 8, 1994

Statement by the Press Secretary

The President spoke with Prime Minister Hosokawa of Japan today at 9:40 AM(EDT) for approximately 12 minutes. The President conveyed his regret at the Prime Minister's decision to resign and commended him for his commitment to political and economic reform in Japan. The President expressed his hope that the process of reform would continue in Japan. The President stated that he is confident that our strong bilateral relations with Japan will continue.

The President told Prime Minister Hosokawa, "I am confident that you will always be viewed as an historic Prime Minister who made great strides in helping Japan in a period of transition. You gave your people the courage to change."

The President intends to work closely with the new Prime Minister to improve the economic relationship with Japan and to implement fully the Framework agreement, which remains a high priority and is very much in the interests of both countries.