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U.S. Department of State
96/09/19 Press Conference: US-Japan Security Consultative Comm.
Office of the Spokesman
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release September 19, 1996
2 PLUS 2 PRESS CONFERENCE
SECURITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER,
JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER YUKIHIKO IKEDA
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM PERRY, AND
JAPANESE DEFENSE MINISTER HIDEO USUI
Benjamin Franklin Room
September 19, 1996
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: We're going to be doing consecutive translations
here today, so when you ask a question, I ask you to allow time so there
can be a translation of the question so we keep everybody relatively
Secretary Perry and I are very pleased to welcome Foreign Minister Ikeda
and Minister Usui to Washington. Today's second cabinet level meeting
of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee reflects the
fundamental importance of our security partnership between our two great
Today we covered a broad range of subjects of our great mutual interest
-- bilateral, regional and global subjects. We reaffirmed our support
for the work of the Joint Special Action Committee on Okinawa.
Secretary Perry will describe that in more detail.
We discussed our cooperation in Japan's production of the F-2 fighter
jet. We also discussed a number of issues of great regional interest:
the situation between the United States and South Korea and North Korea;
Japan's strong leadership in the -- what is called KEDO -- the Korean
Peninsula Energy Development Organization.
We also had time to discuss Iraq and Bosnia at some length. Japan has
steadfastly supported U. S. actions to counter the threats in the region
of the Middle East -- the most recent threats by Iraq's Saddam Hussein.
And certainly, Japan has contributed very significantly both in the
Middle East and in Bosnia to financial efforts of reconstruction in
Bosnia as well as in Gaza and the West Bank.
We greatly appreciate Japan's assistance in all these matters. I want
to emphasize also that our working together on a common agenda has been
one of the major developments of recent years where we worked together
on such issues as the environment, population, and AIDS.
The renewal of our security partnership has been at the heart of a
strengthening of our overall relationship. This of course includes as
well our trade relations where we have reached 22 market access
agreements over the last three years. The importance of this basic
relationship will be underscored once again by a meeting of President
Clinton and Prime Minister Hashimoto at the U. N. General Assembly
meeting in New York next week.
I welcome the two Ministers and all their colleagues here to Washington
for what has been a splendid meeting, a reflection of the strong
partnership between our two countries which, over the last several
years, has grown rapidly in strength and dimension.
MINISTER IKEDA: (Through Interpreter) Thank you, very much. In
today's meeting of the SCC, we were engaged in the discussion of how to
deepen the security cooperation between the two countries which were
given direction by the earlier joint declaration on security issues
between Japan and the United States.
We discussed in this context the reduction, realignment and
consolidation of the U.S. forces' areas and facilities in Okinawa, as
well as the review of guidelines for the defense cooperation between the
two countries. And also we had an extended discussion over
international issues of mutual interest, including the situation in the
Korean Peninsula as well as the situation in Iraq.
With regard to the process of a Special Action Committee on Okinawa, we
reviewed the progress which has been made since the issuance of the
interim report earlier, and we renewed our firm commitment to engage in
an ever vigorous joint effort to bring about a successful conclusion of
the process in November.
As for the alternative heliport considered for the take-over functions
of Futenma Air Station, we have agreed to establish a special working
group to discuss and consider three possibilities, including the
construction of a floating officer facility, which was earlier suggested
by the U.S. side. And we have agreed to continue on our very vigorous
joint effort in this regard.
In closing, I would like to express my deep appreciation for all the
efforts which have been put in on the U. S. side for this cooperation,
especially the roles played by Secretary Christopher and Secretary
Perry. And I believe that, as Secretary Perry -- Secretary Christopher,
excuse me -- Secretary Perry earlier mentioned that such cooperative
relationship between the two countries will not only benefit both of us,
but it will be deepened further in the context of a global cooperation.
And I do hope that the meeting today will have made some contribution in
Thank you, very much.
SECRETARY PERRY: The security relationship between the United States
and Japan is the foundation of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific
region. We maintain about 100,000 troops in Asia; nearly half of them
are stationed in Japan.
In light of the recent incorrect press reports, I want to state clearly
that we have no plans to change our troop levels in Japan.
In April, President Clinton and Prime Minister Hashimoto reaffirmed the
continued presence of U.S. military forces in the region. They also
reaffirmed the importance of the Mutual Security Treaty and they
chartered a course for the future.
The first step is a review of the U.S.-Japan defense guidelines. This
is a significant step in adapting our alliance for the 21st Century.
The guidelines were drafted almost 20 years ago during the Cold War.
So, we have begun the process of producing an updated blueprint for
future defense cooperation between the U.S. Armed Forces and Japan's
The revised guidelines will lead to increased cooperation in the
framework of our security treaty and in the framework of the Japanese
constitution. The course they will set supports stability and peace in
the region, a goal that is important not just to the United States and
Japan but also to China and to other nations in the region.
Second, it was clear at our meeting a year ago that the road to a
stronger alliance leads through Okinawa. We take our commitment to the
Special Action Committee on Okinawa seriously because we are determined
to be good neighbors. That is why we have been working very hard since
last November, well before the recent referendum, to relieve the burden
of our military presence in Okinawan communities, while, at the same
time, maintaining our full operational readiness and capabilities.
We are committed to, and fully expect to, complete the process
successfully, including agreement on relocating the Futenma Air Base on
schedule by the end of November.
To that end, we made the decision today to conduct intensive studies of
three possible solutions.
Alternative One is to incorporate a heliport into Kadena Air Base.
Alternative Two is to construct a heliport at Camp Schwab.
Alternative Three is to develop and construct a floating off-shore
facility, using advance technology and engineering.
We discussed cooperation in other areas as well. The F-2 fighter
aircraft program is just one example.
Japan will spend over $10 billion producing the F-2, with over $4
billion going to American companies and creating American jobs.
The F-2 is an important bilateral achievement of which both Japan and
the United States can be proud.
We also agreed to study two new initiatives. The first is to study
measures to enhance consultations about urgent situations through the
use of new technologies, such as secure video systems.
The second study will explore new areas for increasing training
I want to thank Foreign Minister Ikeda and Minister Usui for coming to
Washington for this 2-Plus-2 meeting.
And I look forward to continuing our dialogue.
MINISTER USUI: (Through interpreter) I think the very fact that this
SCC meeting had been able to take place with full ministerial
participation points to the very thoughtful consideration given to this
very important meeting on the part of both Secretary Christopher,
Secretary Perry, and all those involved in the process.
As was explained earlier from Secretary Perry, there were very
constructive discussions over a wide range of issues, including some of
the proposals which were explained to you earlier by Secretary Perry in
a very warm atmosphere.
I was very much impressed that this process has brought together the
hearts of all of us who have been involved in it.
On the issue of the U.S. bases in Okinawa and their realignment,
consolidation, and reduction, we recommitted ourselves to the move
forward, mindful of the burden which is shouldered by the local
community and with a long-term perspective of maintaining a solid
alliance between Japan and the United States.
As was mentioned earlier, we have agreed to discuss and consider three
possibilities suggested for the relocation of functions of Futenman Air
Station. We have also recommitted ourselves to make an utmost joint
effort between the two countries as we approach the issuance of a final
report of the cycle expected in November.
Concerning a review of the guidelines for defense cooperation between
the two countries, I am very happy to note that we have been able to
agree on the need to promote further the cooperation between the two
countries in defense areas so as to provide for the transparency, or the
process with which we are engaged in the review of the guideline. We
are happy to present to you the progress report on this matter which, I
hope, would help to facilitate the understanding on the part of the
public at large on the process which we have been engaged in and which
we are engaged in.
I hope that this kind of frank exchange of views sustaining the solid
alliance between the two countries will be continued. I would like to
express my commitment to continue in a very serious and genuine joint
effort in this area.
Thank you very much.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, a question about North Korea, please, for you
or for any of your guests. There was an attempt by North Korea to
infiltrate into South Korea this week. I understand that a message was
attempted to be passed to the North Koreans in Panmunjom today that was
unsuccessful. Do you have any other information about either the
incident or the attempt to pass the note, and any thoughts on how this
might affect relations between the two countries and things like the
four-way talks which we are attempting to get going with both North and
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: We have been in touch this morning with the
South Koreans about this episode. They're investigating it. It's
obviously a matter of concern. The comment I'd make today is that we
wish that all parties would avoid taking any further provocative actions
of the kind reflected apparently in this step, and I don't have anything
further to say, as this issue -- this particular episode -- is being
QUESTION: (Through interpreter) The question is directed toward
Secretary Perry. The question is, in the context of the alternative
heliport facilities to be constructed, will this U.S. new proposal of a
floating off-shore facility be a center of the discussion? If that is
the case, what is your views or prospects of the operational feasibility
of this plan, including the transportation of personnel involved?
SECRETARY PERRY: The floating off-shore facility is just one of three
alternatives that we will be making an intensive study of. It is
premature to predict at this time which of the three will be selected.
The study will consider the operational factors that you mentioned. It
will also consider the technical feasibility and cost.
A technology solution like that is very appealing to both Japanese and
Americans, both of whom are very strong in technology.
The visionary in me hopes this floating off-shore facility will be the
solution to the problem.
But I'm also an engineer. And the engineer in me recognizes that there
are difficult technical problems, including the ones I've described. We
must be absolutely sure that we understand them before we make a
A joint United States-Japanese team has been established to do this
QUESTION: I would like to ask both sides, without getting into the
details of the North Korean submarine episode, do both sides -- Japan
and the United States -- believe that the mere happening of the incident
will make it more difficult for both countries to go ahead with KEDO and
to go ahead with humanitarian relief for North Korea?
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Obviously, the episode is a matter of concern.
But the facts are so murky, and are just under investigation now, I
think it's impossible to assess what its longer term effects may be.
As I said earlier, I urge the parties not to take any additional
provocative acts so as to ensure the possibility that we can move
forward on the matters that you mentioned such as the North/South talks
as well as the humanitarian relief.
MINISTER IKEDA: (Through interpreter) Japan shares the views which have
just been explained to us by Secretary Christopher.
The framework of KEDO, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development
Organization, serves not only to eliminate the concerns we have had
about the nuclear weapons development in North Korea but also it has
been functioning as the conduit of dialogue between North Korea and the
rest of the world.
As such, I think this is a very important process which we need to keep
So I am very much hopeful that this incident will not develop into
something that will have a negative effect on the environment under
which we will be able to continue to make progress in the KEDO process
as well as in the area of humanitarian relief and assistance.
QUESTION: (Through interpreter) This question is for Secretary Perry,
and it has to do in the context of the guideline review. There is an
item concerning rear area support for U.S. forces activities in
conjunction with the cooperation and situations that may emerge in areas
The question has to do with, what exactly is the content of the rear
area support which the U.S. side seeks from Japan?
SECRETARY PERRY: That is an issue to be decided by the study that has
I would not want to prejudge the outcome of this joint, very intensive
study by forecasting the answer.
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Thank you very much.
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