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N. Korea, economy to top agenda at Japan-U.S. summit.

TOKYO, Nov. 5 Kyodo North Korea's suspected nuclear program and the Japanese economy will be the central issues at a Japan-U.S. summit later in the month in Tokyo, Japanese government sources said Thursday.

During the talks, scheduled for Nov. 19, Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi is expected to express to U.S. President Bill Clinton Japan's full support for U.S.-demanded inspections of suspected underground nuclear facilities in North Korea, the sources said.

Japan believes that Clinton will want to score points for his North Korea policy, which is "becoming increasingly important in U.S. diplomacy," the sources said.

Clinton, who will leave for South Korea after his Nov. 19-20 Japan visit, will also be able to demonstrate to North Korea the close links between the U.S., Japan and South Korea, the sources said.

Equally, Japan wants North Korea to alleviate international fears about its nuclear program. Vice Foreign Minister Shunji Yanai said in a press briefing Monday that Pyongyang "should clear away such suspicions." On the Japanese economy, Clinton is expected to comment positively on the bank-recapitalization law, which cleared the Japanese parliament last month.

The law aims at replenishing the depleted capital bases of Japanese banks to prevent bank failures and restore their ability to lend funds to corporate borrowers.

Clinton is likely to demand a speedy implementation of measures to stabilize the nation's financial system, the sources said.

Obuchi will explain the contents of the emergency economic stimulus package of more than 10 trillion yen, expected to be approved Nov. 16, the sources said.

Clinton, who will arrive in Japan after a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Kuala Lumpur, will visit Hakone, a mountain resort southwest of Tokyo, with Obuchi on Nov. 20.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Nov 9, 1998
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