Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi will visit the United States from Sunday to Tuesday to meet with President Bill Clinton and attend the general assembly of the U.N.
Japan’s economy will be the main topic of conversation when Obuchi and Clinton meet Tuesday in New York, as Washington is increasingly frustrated with Japan’s economic slump.
Foreign Ministry officials said Obuchi will speak of Japan’s strong determination to revive its economy. Recovery of Japan’s economy is considered an essential element in the stabilization of other Asian economies and in preventing financial crises from spreading further.
The U.S. has grown increasingly concerned as financial situations in Russia and Latin American have worsened recently.
Obuchi had hoped that financial stabilization bills would pass the Diet before his trip, but wrangling between the Liberal Democratic Party and opposition parties continues.
On the security front, Obuchi and Clinton will reaffirm the importance of the Japan-U.S. security alliance and will exchange views on policies toward North Korea, which launched a rocket over Japan late last month.
The leaders are likely to touch on issues regarding upgraded Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines and implementation of a bilateral agreement to reduce and consolidate U.S. forces in Okinawa Prefecture.
The U.S. has called on Japan to swiftly pass bills related to the new defense guidelines, which expand military cooperation between the two countries in emergencies “in areas surrounding Japan.”
With North Korea’s recent rocket launch having sparked concerns, Obuchi and Clinton are also likely to discuss the joint development of a theater missile defense system and Japan’s desire to orbit a multipurpose satellite that can be used for intelligence purposes.
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