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TOKYO (Nikkei)--Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Thursday that an East Asian economic community is no longer a distant goal but increasingly becoming a reality developing around the economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan, China and South Korea.
TOKYO (Dow Jones)--East Asian economies, especially those in Southeast Asia, must form a regional economic bloc to avoid being marginalized in the ever-intensifying global competition, former Philippine President Fidel Ramos said Thursday.
TOKYO (Dow Jones)--Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said Thursday there was too much focus on sticking points in talks between Japan and Thailand for a free trade agreement and not enough on the benefits of a successful conclusion of such a pact.
TOKYO (Dow Jones)--As part of steps to further integrate the East Asian region, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Thursday the region needs closer financial ties and an Asian version of the International Monetary Fund to monitor local economies.
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone on Thursday called on Japan, China and South Korea to establish a summit framework independent of the meetings that currently take place during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Japan will proceed with plans to reach free trade agreements with Asian nations as well as actively revise regulations and foster conditions to encourage trade and investment here, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Thursday.
What role should Japan play in promoting closer cooperation among Asian countries? That was the issue at the heart of a three-way discussion between Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore senior minister; Kakutaro Kitashiro, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives; and Naoki Tanaka, an economic analyst. Excerpts from their remarks follow:
During discussions on the theme of "Agendas and Perspectives for Japan's Resurgence," Singapore's Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew expressed concern that Japan may be losing its leading role in Asia, while Kakutaro Kitashiro, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), called for the introduction of a minister in charge of FTAs.
Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.