View Header


                  Office of the Press Secretary
                       (Jakarta, Indonesia)
For immediate Release                        November 17, 1994
                       BACKGROUND BRIEFING
                    ON THE JAPANESE BILATERAL 

November 14, 1994

                    The Ambassador's Residence
                        Jakarta, Indonesia 

12:50 P.M. (L)

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me just give you a readout on the topics covered and generally what was said in the meeting between the President and the Japanese Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister described the domestic stimulus measures that he is taking in Japan. The President welcomed them. The two of them discussed, then, and welcomed the agreement that was reached on the framework negotiations in September, right? -- yes -- and praised their negotiators for reaching it. The President emphasized the importance of more progress now. The Prime Minister agreed. The President emphasized, when talking about the further progress that is needed, as the President emphasized the auto sector while mentioning a few others.

New issue. On GATT, they each said that they were determined to see the GATT agreement passed by the end of the year. The President had said he expected that it would be.

New issue. The Prime Minister said that he had been reassured about continuity in American foreign policy. The President joked that, at Naples, the Prime Minister who had come just after the coalition in Japan had been formed, the Prime Minister at Naples assured the President about continuity in Japanese foreign policy in the new government, and the President said that he was now in the position of reassuring the Prime Minister of our continuity in American foreign policy now.

And, as I said, the Prime Minister had already volunteered that he was reassured about that continuity.

Again, a major topic was Korea. They each agreed on the importance of the North-South dialogue. Prime Minister Murayama said, "He respected and appreciated," the American negotiation of the agreement with the North Koreans. They agreed to coordinate their policies and with the South Koreans as we now move to implement the agreement with the North Koreans, and the President said that he supports efforts by the Japanese to improve their relations with North Korea.

The Prime Minister raised the importance to the Japanese government of our "common agenda," working together on global issues like AIDS, children's health. The President said that this was a matter of great importance to us as well, and mentioned the importance, also, of narcotics; expressed appreciation for the way the Japanese had worked with us at the Cairo conference.

The Prime Minister invited the President to pay a State Visit to Japan next year, assuming that Japan is hosting an APEC Leaders Conference. He asked the President to pay a State Visit after that Leaders Conference and the President accepted.

The President invited the Prime Minister to visit Washington next year and they agreed that we will work out dates. But no agreement was reached at that meeting. In fact, they didn't discuss specific dates for such a visit.

Q On North Korea, could you go back over that, on the cooperation in the future? What does that mean?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Okay. Question about more on Korea. Let me run over it again.

North Korea was a major item, as it was with the Chinese President. Murayama said that he "respected and appreciated" the American negotiation of the agreement. They agreed on the importance of getting the North-South or SouthNorth dialogue going, as did President Jiang and President Clinton. And they agreed that they will coordinate closely with each other and with the South Koreans as we move now to implement the U.S.-North Korean agreement. And the President said that we support Japanese efforts to improve their relations with North Korea.

Q In what context did the Prime Minister raise the continuity of American foreign policy, and how was he reassured in advance of this meeting about that continuity?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: This was in his opening statement. He volunteered this. The question is, in what context did the continuity in American foreign policy come up? Isn't this right? It was in his opening statement. Yes. He said that he had been very much reassured by what Secretary Christopher had said to their Foreign Minister on the subject immediately after the elections took place.

Q Does the President expect this to come up at all at his meetings? Apparently, Warren Christopher found that as he met the head of the APEC meeting, that everyone he met with wanted to know what the effect of the elections would be. Is the President expecting this and other bilaterals that he has scheduled, and how is he answering this?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The question was: Does the President expect the issue of continuity in American foreign policy and the effect of the elections on American foreign policy to come up in all of his meetings?

I wouldn't have said so. And in fact, it did not come up this morning with the Chinese. It did come up in the meeting with the Japanese leader. He, first of all, reassured, after Prime Minister Murayama had said he had been reassured by what Secretary of State Christopher had said, the President reaffirmed it and pointed to the fact that he had talked to both Senator Dole and Representative Gingrich before leaving, and that each of them had expressed his support for this trip, and had also expressed support for policies of American strength and American efforts to achieve open markets around the world.

Okay, got to run. Thank you.

THE PRESS: Thank you.

END12:56 P.M. (L)