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Full text of Prime Minister Koizumi's speech-1.

SINGAPORE, Jan. 14 Kyodo

Following is the full text of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's speech on East Asia policy delivered Monday in Singapore.

Japan and ASEAN in East Asia - A Sincere and Open Partnership -

Your Excellency, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong,

Your Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister

and Minister for Defense Tony Tan,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am greatly honored to give this speech here in Singapore, the final stop on may schedule of visits to the countries of ASEAN.

Singapore is a remarkable nation with remarkable people. Bursting through the constraints of size and resources, Singapore through sheer energy and willpower has created a tremendous place for itself in the world. Through its economic and diplomatic vitality, it contributes to the international community far in excess of what size alone would warrant. And so to the government and people of Singapore, let me express my administration and respect for your achievements.

I am told that Singapore is called the ''Lion City.'' Maybe it has something to do with my hairstyle, but in Japan I am known as the ''Lion Prime Minister.'' Perhaps that is why I am so delighted to be here in the Lion City.

Today I would like to speak about cooperation between Japan and ASEAN and my concept of how this cooperation can contribute to all of East Asia.

Let me begin by defining what cooperation truly is. Cooperation is working in common purpose with others in order to accomplish more. In the simplest terms, this is what I would like to see Japan and ASEAN accomplish -- More prosperity, more peace, more understanding, more trust. This cooperation requires an exchange of ideas, opinions and people.

Exchanges between Japan and the countries of Southeast Asia have a long history. As early as the 14th century, the Kingdom of he Ryukyu, which ruled the islands of Okinawa, traded with Thailand. In the 16th century, the sea-borne trade in vermilion seals was active in the waters that connect East Asia, and a thousand Japanese lived in Ayuthaya, the Thai capital of the period.

One recent anecdote in particular demonstrates to me how fate has destined exchange between Japan and Southeast Asia. In 1989, a child living on the southern Japanese island of Tanegashima placed a ''letter of friendship'' in a bottle and set it adrift in the sea. That very same bottle traversed the seas that our ancestors had themselves traveled in trade -- and ten years later in 1999 it washed up on the shores of Malaysia, The Malaysian citizen who found the message invited the Japanese child to come to Malaysia, which resulted in both a real and a symbolic exchange.

Today, many kinds of bottles travel between Japan and Singapore -- economic, political, diplomatic an cultural. At present, Japan's pop culture has become a part of Singapore's pop culture, and the young people of Singapore are teaching English to young Japanese people. In such ways and many others, our mutual exchanges are passed to the younger generation.

The exchanges between Japan and Southeast Asia, of course, also include more formal and diplomatic exchanges. Twenty-five years ago in 1977, then Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda made a speech in Manila, citing ''equal partnership'' and ''heart-to-heart understanding'' between Japan and ASEAN. Based on the fundamental concepts of the ''Fukuda Speech,'' Japan's ASEAN policies have been passed on from that time to each subsequent cabinet. I, too, am eager to promote such policies.

In the quarter-century since the ''Fukuda Speech,'' the global situation has undergone tremendous change. In Southeast Asia, peace has progressed with the resolution of conflicts in Indochina, resulting in the expansion of ASEAN to ten countries. Democratization and a market economy are also progressing in Asia. The People's Republic of China and Taiwan have joined the WTO. Furthermore, as a result of the terrorist attacks on the United States, we've seen a paradigm shift in security concepts, making patently clear the importance of working together for the sake of peace and stability.

In the 21st century, the changes confronting Japan and ASEAN will be even more swift and momentous. We must face such changes with unflinching resolve and courage. And we must face them together.

Despite enduring difficult trials in the midst of economic globalization, despite living in different stages of economic development, despite a diversity of backgrounds, all of the ASEAN countries increasingly share the basic values of democracy and market economy. Efforts to harmonize the region's diverse histories, societies, cultures and religions have reaped a greater good for all.

I believe that Japan has made a contribution in strengthening the countries of ASEAN. True to the old adage, ''A friend in need is a friend indeed,'' Japan at the time of Asia's financial crisis played a role in easing that crisis. We viewed the situation not just as your challenge but as our own. I believe that Japan-ASEAN relations have reached a new level of maturity and understanding. In the 21st century, as sincere and open partners, Japan and ASEAN should strengthen their cooperation under the basic concept of ''acting together -- advancing together.''

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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jan 21, 2002
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