U.S. President Bill Clinton will arrive in Tokyo Thursday afternoon for a two-day visit, instead of arriving early in the morning as originally scheduled, a top government spokesman said Tuesday.
Due to tensions in the Persian Gulf, Clinton canceled his trip to the leaders meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, which started Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur. He will fly directly to Tokyo from the U.S. and will leave Japan on Friday evening for Seoul, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka told a regular news conference. “Although he canceled his trip to the meeting of APEC leaders, he decided to come to Japan,” Nonaka said. “We would like to welcome his visit.”
Clinton will hold talks with Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi Friday afternoon. Issues that are likely to top the agenda at the summit include security issues in northeastern Asia, particularly over North Korea, and international cooperation of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development (KEDO), an international consortium providing two nuclear reactors to North Korea, according to foreign ministry officials.
Among other international issues, Obuchi plans to outline for Clinton his achievements during his recent trip to Moscow. The two leaders are likely to exchange opinions over Iraq, concerning its cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors, and try to seek a joint stance toward the country, they said.
On economic issues, the two leaders will discuss ways to provide support to troubled Asian economies, and Obuchi will explain Japan’s continuous efforts to realize its economic recovery, including its 24 trillion yen pump-priming packaged announced on Monday, the ministry officials said.
Meanwhile, a top government official said that neither U.S. bases in Okinawa nor Japan-U.S. Security issues will discussed in depth. “Rather than those issues, they are likely to put more emphasis on the state of the Japanese economy,” the official said.
After arriving in Tokyo Thursday afternoon, Clinton is scheduled to meet with the Emperor and the Empress, and appear on a TV program later in the day.
Because of the tight schedule, the two leaders’ initial plan to tour Hakone, a mountain resort area southwest of Tokyo, was also canceled.
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