November 24(Wednesday)

The APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting: Prime Minister Kan's Achievements as the Chair

 

"What was achieved during the whole of APEC, besides the bilateral meetings with China and Russia?" To answer this question, the concise seven-minute report tells the role Prime Minister Kan played as the Chair of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting over the two days.

 

 

Prime Minister: The Asia-Pacific region is demonstrating its robust
recovery potential. The region will continue to lead the global
economy as the world's growth center.

 

Narration: APEC is a massive presence within the world, comprising
roughly half of the global GDP and 40% of the global population.

 

The greatest achievement for Japan as the Chair country was the
adoption of the Yokohama Vision, which sets a path for integrating
the entire APEC region into one community in the future.

 

Using three key words, Prime Minister Kan explained the vision of
the future APEC community sketched out in the Yokohama Vision.

 

First is an economically-integrated community: a community that
promotes deeper economic integration by liberalizing and
facilitating trade and investment.

 

Prime Minister: By building on and further developing ongoing regional undertakings, we will advance towards the realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

 

Narration: Second is the robust community: a community with
sustainable and higher quality growth.

 

Prime Minister: To this end, the growth strategy of APEC was formulated for the first time in its history. Going forward, we will steadily implement policies set out in such areas as structural reform, development of skilled workforces and entrepreneurs, green growth, knowledge-based economy, and human security.

 

Narration: Third is secure community: a community that provides
a free and secure environment for economic activities.

 

Prime Minister: We will further strengthen our efforts for poverty reduction, counter-terrorism, and disaster mitigation, and promote concrete initiatives to ensure food security.

 

Narration: During these two days, a series of bilateral meetings
were also held. First of all, the Japan-US Summit Meeting resulted
in the launch of consultations for the following initiatives.

 

- Energy-Smart Community Initiative
- U.S.-Japan Clean Energy Policy
- U.S.-Japan Economic Harmonization Initiative
- U.S.-Japan Dialogue to Promote Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and
  Job Creation
- U.S.-Japan Policy Cooperation Dialogue on the Internet Economy
- U.S-Japan Nuclear Security Working Group
- Initiative for Strengthening the Bilateral Exchange

 

Narration: At the Japan-China Summit Meeting, Prime Minister Kan
stated Japan's firm stance on the Senkaku Islands.

 

President Hu Jintao explained the Chinese side's stance. The
President also said that it is in the fundamental interests of both
countries that they take a path of mutual peace, friendship, and
cooperation.

 

The two countries agreed on three points: development of the
mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic
interests on a long-term and stable basis, promotion of exchanges
and cooperation in both public and private sectors, and
strengthening of cooperation on global issues including the
economic field.

 

Prime Minister: We confirmed our intention to once again promote the mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests. By reiterating this principle, I felt that we were able to bring our relationship back to where it was when I assumed office in June this year.

 

Narration: The summit meeting with China was immediately followed
by the Japan-Russia Summit Meeting held in the adjacent room. Prime
Minister Kan protested that President Medvedev's recent visit to
Kunashiri Island was "unacceptable."

 

President Medvedev made a statement based on Russia's basic stance.
The President also said that the atmosphere of bilateral relations
must be improved, to which end he is eager to expand cooperation
concerning various issues, and that he would like to invite Prime
Minister Kan to Russia next year." The two leaders saw eye to eye
on strengthening relations in every area.

 

Prime Minister: We should talk more about the territorial issue, while also thoroughly discussing economic issues. Even though these are of a different nature, as the two countries deepen their economic cooperation, this will also have a positive influence on the territorial issue.

 

Narration: The following day, started with a summit meeting with
Canada, when a signing ceremony for the Canada-Japan Joint
Declaration took place.

 

Prime Minister Kan said that Japan is eager to cooperate even more
closely with Canada in the area of resource development,
capitalizing on the country's abundant mineral resources including
rare earths. Prime Minister Harper concurred on this statement.

 

Narration: During the Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting that
followed, the bilateral archives treaty was signed.

 

Based on this treaty, archives of cultural value possessed by Japan
that originated from the Korean Peninsula during the Korean
dynastic period will be transferred to the Republic of Korea.

 

Prime Minister Kan said, "We could set a major path for
strengthening the future-oriented bilateral relationship going
forward." President Lee also welcomed this agreement, whishing to
strengthen bilateral cooperation even further.

 

Narration: Bilateral meetings were also held with countries other
than the so-called superpowers and neighboring countries.

 

Prime Minister: Many countries have a younger population, but at the same time suffer from lack of financing and infrastructure. They are having difficulties in economic development, whereas in Japan the aging of society is advancing, but at the same time we have high levels of technology as well as a built up financial capital base. Therefore, partnerships between Japan and other Asian countries and also Latin America and Canada across the Pacific will be a new page of the history for Japan as well, as it once again opens up the country in this era of Heisei [in the 21st Century].

 

Narration: Toward a new page of history, Prime Minister Kan
completed diplomatic activities during four days, starting with the
G20 Summit in Seoul. He worked non-stop, with short meetings
inserted between events to analyze the situation.

 

Of course, this was not all about achievements. There are also some
challenges ahead.

 

Prime Minister: Of course there are numerous problems ahead of us but we need the courage and strength to overcome such difficulties, and by exerting such courage and strength, we shall try and create a new Japan. So to that end I would like to ask for your understanding and support and with that I would like to conclude my remarks. Thank you very much.

 



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