« トレビュー | トップページ | 農家戸別補償―拙速を避け、本格案に »

2009年11月17日 (火)


--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 16(IHT/Asahi: November 17,2009)
EDITORIAL: Japan's role in APEC.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Singapore has closed. During the forum, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama gave a policy speech on how Japan intends to achieve peace, stability and prosperity in Asia through open regional cooperation based on the spirit of yuai (fraternity), while maintaining a foothold in the Japan-U.S. alliance.

The previous day, U.S. President Barack Obama made a groundbreaking speech in Tokyo, saying, "As an Asia-Pacific nation, the United States expects to be involved in the discussions that shape the future of this region" and participate fully in matters relating to Asia.

It has been more than a year since the world plunged into economic turmoil. China and Southeast Asia have played a significant role in not only propping up the global economy, but also being the tractive force for future growth. That role is growing bigger every day.

China's increasing political influence and military prowess are also bringing about drastic changes to the power structure of this region.

The two leaders' speeches were also declarations of how the two countries intend to address Asia as it undergoes a huge transformation. The fact that Japan's prime minister welcomed U.S. intentions to increase its involvement in Asia will serve as the basis of future cooperation between the two countries.

APEC was created exactly 20 years ago. Members' efforts at promoting free trade and investment within the region have helped to push up exports and economic growth at rates higher than any other region in the world.

The active pursuit of economic growth and trade within the Pacific Rim region has played a large role in the growth of China and Southeast Asia.

APEC leaders jointly agreed to: continue economic stimulus measures until there is a full recovery; work on diminishing disparities within the region; and create a new strategy for even further growth and development.

The APEC leaders made these commitments toward the summit next year in Yokohama.

As next year's host country, Japan bears a heavy responsibility. The historic Bogor Declaration of 1994 put forth the goal of "achieving free and open trade and investment by 2010" among developed countries. Japan must build on this goal and lead the way toward the creation of a new strategy for the 21st century.

One huge difficulty in this task is that the United States is keen on creating an APEC free trade zone, but Southeast Asian countries are wary of free-trade negotiations led by Washington. Japan is also cautious about opening up trade in the agriculture-forestries sector.

This is not just about the economy. How should we deal with the growing influence of China? Regional political and military stability are crucial for economic growth in Asia, but such a situation would depend heavily on diplomatic initiatives on multiple levels, between the United States and China, between China and Japan, as well as multilateral frameworks.

Next year's Yokohama summit will present another opportunity for Obama to visit Japan. It will also provide a chance for the president to join events marking the half-century anniversary of the revised Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

Ahead of these opportunities next year, the two countries will start discussions on how to "deepen" the alliance to respond to changes in Asia and the new global agenda.

We should swiftly reach a breakthrough in the issue over relocating the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture so that dialogue between the countries can be fruitful and meaningful.

Corps 発音注意 コァーと発音する、コープスと発音しないように!


« トレビュー | トップページ | 農家戸別補償―拙速を避け、本格案に »





« トレビュー | トップページ | 農家戸別補償―拙速を避け、本格案に »