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September 22, 1998

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Our relationship with Japan is the cornerstone of our security policy in Asia and a pillar of our global strategy to promote peace, prosperity, and freedom in the world.

President Bill Clinton
September 22, 1998

Today, President Clinton meets with Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi to discuss the global economy and the steps both the United States and Japan can take to spur economic growth worldwide.

Continuing A Strong U.S.-Japanese Partnership. Our strong relationship with Japan is the cornerstone of U.S. economic and security policy in Asia and the basis of a productive partnership aimed at promoting global peace and prosperity. Together, the American and Japanese economies account for more than 30% of the world's gross domestic product, and play a central role in the international trading system. President Clinton is committed to working with Japanese leaders and exercising American leadership to extend the benefits and minimize the turmoil of global markets to all citizens.

A Presidential Commitment To The Global Economy. Under President Clinton's leadership, the American economy is the strongest it has been in a generation. Even as our economy has enjoyed over six years of strong growth, today, global economic turmoil threatens to undermine confidence in free markets and democracy worldwide. The benefits our nation has received from more open markets requires us to assume leadership in assisting other countries in working their way our of economic struggle. President Clinton has unveiled a six-part strategy to help and support struggling economies get back on their feet:

  • Leading Nations Must Act To Spur Global Growth -- no nation can act alone. America must maintain the fiscal discipline that has lowered interest rates and fueled investment and job growth, Europe must pursue policies to spur growth and keep their markets open, and Japan must be the catalyst for renewed economic growth in Asia by reviving its banking system, restoring domestic growth, deregulating its economy, and opening its markets;
  • We Must Intensify Our Efforts To Speed Economic Recovery In Asia. The President has asked Secretary Rubin to work with other financial authorities and international economic institutions to enhance efforts to explore comprehensive plans to help Asian corporations emerge from massive debt;
  • Assisting Families In Recovering Nations. The downturn of Asian economies has devastated many families who worked a lifetime to enter the middle class. The President is calling the World Bank and Asia Development Bank to double their aid through a Social Compact Initiative -- focusing on job assistance, basic needs during transition, and on the needs of the elderly and children;
  • We Must Be Ready To Respond Immediately If The Currency Crisis Continues. Leading nations should stand ready to activate $15 billion in the emergency fund of the IMF;
  • Increasing Export-Import Bank Commitments To Specific Economic Development Projects. The Ex-Im Bank will increase its commitments over the next three months to projects which will have concrete benefits for ordinary citizens in other countries, projects which will increase our own exports and thereby help our economy, and ones which can help to restore confidence in countries that they are not alone and that actual, specific, positive developments can occur;
  • Meeting Our Obligation to The IMF. The President is calling on Congress to meet our responsibilities and pay our dues to the IMF. Should Congress not act, it will send a message that we are unwilling to maintain our leadership in building a global economic system that has benefited us more than any other nation.

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