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Japan Calls For Increased Dialogue At Nikkei Future Of Asia Confab

June 3, 1999

TOKYO (Nikkei)--The U.S. and East Asian countries should build upon existing communication channels and establish a new network to facilitate dialogue, Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura said Thursday in his opening address to the fifth annual Future of Asia conference held by The Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

Reiterating a proposal made by Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, Koumura suggested creating a forum in which Japan, the U.S., China, Russia and the two Koreas can discuss security issues facing the Northeast Asian region.

Also in attendance was Philippine President Joseph Estrada, who said Asian nations should also give serious consideration to the idea of a common East Asian currency, now that the euro has been introduced.

A common currency would expedite the integration of the region's economies and bring about economic stability by promoting coordination of monetary and fiscal policies, Estrada said.

The two-day conference is attended by top political and business leaders of 11 Asia-Pacific economies.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Thursday evening edition)

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.