Koizumi pledges Japan will boost ties in Asia

May 29, 2006

Japan will continue to do its utmost to establish meaningful economic partnership agreements that promote development in all of Asia, said Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

In doing so, he indicated that Japan will accelerate creation of such pacts with other Asian nations. The banquet at which Koizumi spoke was part of the 12th Future of Asia conference.

In addition to free-trade agreements, an economic partnership pact can include a comprehensive set of rules regarding the flow of people and goods, protection of intellectual property and measures to resolve conflicts.

Koizumi listed common issues that Asian nations face such as terrorism, protecting the environment and energy. "Cooperation within the region is imperative to be able to overcome these issues," said Koizumi, who indicated Japan's willingness to play a proactive role in Asia.

Referring to current conditions within East Asia, Koizumi said, "We overcame 20th century-end economic crises and have managed to achieve the most dynamic growth in the world."

He also pointed to the importance of economic ties by citing the fact that 56% of all the region's global trade is within the region. "Our economic ties are even more solid than the North American Free Trade Agreement's."

(The Nikkei Weekly May 29 Issue)

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