Staff writerJamaican Prime Minister Percival Patterson urged Japan on Monday to make an early economic recovery because its weakness negatively impacts not only Jamaica but the international community as a whole.”The problems which have occurred in the Japanese economy extend well beyond Japan itself. They have repercussions on the whole global financial situation, bearing in mind that Japan is a very significant player in the global economy,” Paterson said in an interview with The Japan Times. “Therefore, it is not only a matter of interest to Japan but … of the entire world that there will be full recovery within the shortest possible time,” said Patterson, who is here on a visit.Patterson welcomed Japan’s measures to stabilize the domestic financial sector, saying the measures are “necessary and appropriate to restore the financial sector to full health.”The Diet enacted financial reform laws on Monday to deal with failed and failing banks and is seeking to enact a bank recapitalization bill designed to keep capital-short banks afloat. Patterson said a stagnant Japanese economy has implications for Jamaica because Japan is one of its major trading and economic partners.He said trade of coffee, which is Jamaica’s principle export to Japan, has not been much affected by the economic downturn but the number of Japanese tourists to Jamaica has been on the decline. The number of Japanese visiting Jamaica in 1997 dropped by 22 percent from the previous year, and the figure so far for this year has declined by about 20 percent from the same period last year, according to statistics compiled by the Jamaican government.Patterson arrived in Japan on Monday for a four-day official visit and held talks with Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi Tuesday evening. Obuchi and Patterson agreed to further strengthen bilateral exchanges, including those for youths.He said the bilateral relationship between Japan and Jamaica is “quite warm and cordial” and that Jamaica welcomes private-sector investment from Japan, saying that opportunities exist in such sectors as shipping, infrastructure development, coffee processing and light manufacturing.As for reforming the United Nations, he noted that the world today is completely different from that of 1945 when World War II ended, saying there are no longer divisions designating victors and the vanquished but regional powers that influence the course of world events. “We also feel that developing countries have to be given much greater voice and more adequate representation” in the body, he said.Under an existing proposal, the Security Council would be expanded by five, including representatives from the three developing regions of Africa, Latin America and Asia. The three regions, however, are said to have internal problems identifying who should take those spots.
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