U.S. State Department Geographic Bureaus: East Asia and Pacific Bureau

U.S.-Japan Common Agenda

Fact sheet released by the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs,
U.S. Department of State, July 31, 1997.

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President Clinton and Prime Minister Miyazawa launched the Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective ("Common Agenda") in July 1993, as part of the Framework for a New Economic Partnership. Under the Common Agenda, the United States and Japan cooperate in more than two dozen areas covering a broad range of the world's most pressing global problems: health, rapid population growth, disaster mitigation and the environment. The Common Agenda is an important symbol of the broad-based nature of the U.S.-Japan relationship, and demonstrates our ability to cooperate on solving difficult transnational issues.

Under the Common Agenda, the U.S. and Japan have launched joint conservation efforts in Indonesia and the Philippines. In Indonesia, we have jointly funded a biodiversity center. We are also working together to protect nature reserves in five Central American and Caribbean countries through the "Parks in Peril" program. Together with other international partners, we have galvanized world support for the International Coral Reef Initiative, a program aimed at protecting and conserving these valuable marine resources.

On the health front, we are working through longstanding programs to eradicate polio worldwide by the year 2000. We are also funding a project to enhance the availability of children's vaccines in the developing world. We are working closely on rapid population growth and HIV/AIDS programs in Bangladesh, Kenya, the Philippines and Indonesia.

After the disaster caused by the shipwreck of a Russian oil tanker off the coast of Japan in January 1997, Japan indicated a desire to jointly study oil spills, and oil spill cooperation was added to the Common Agenda. The U.S. and Japan are also working together to improve earthquake forecasting and warning, to mitigate the damage caused by earthquakes and to improve the design and construction of buildings.

Areas of possible cooperation in the future include HIV/AIDS work in Vietnam and Cambodia, micronutrients needs for children in Nepal, Bhutan, Vietnam and Laos, and the expansion of polio cooperation into Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. Other possible future projects include jointly protecting the watershed in the Panama Canal Zone, expanding our conservation efforts in Indonesia and Vietnam, and using distance learning to promote exchanges between American and Japanese students and to help educate children in remote parts of the world.

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