THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
Statement by the President on Conversation with Japanese PM
President Clinton called Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa Wednesday evening at 10:30 p.m. EDT to congratulate him on his recent assumption of the position of Prime Minister.
In their conversation, which lasted about 20 minutes, the two leaders reaffirmed the importance of U.S.-Japan relations. The president said the appointment as Ambassador to Japan of such an eminent statesman as former Vice President Walter Mondale underscored the importance he attaches to this relationship.
Turning to economic issues, Prime Minister Hosokawa pledged to uphold the commitments in the Economic Framework Agreement reached in Tokyo in July and to re-double efforts to achieve progress under that agreement. President Clinton emphasized the need to begin negotiations in September on government procurement, autos, auto parts and insurance.
The two leaders looked forward to meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering in Seattle in November, and discussed the possibility of arranging an earlier meeting on the occasion of the UN General Assembly in late September. They also shared condolances on the flood disasters suffered in the two countries.