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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
Immediate Release July 17, 2000
LAEL BRAINARD, DEPUTY NATIONAL ECONOMIC ADVISOR
JIM STEINBERG, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
The James S. Brady Briefing Room
12:50 P.M. EDT
MR. STOCKWELL: Good afternoon. Today's press briefing is on
President Clinton's upcoming trip to Japan. The briefers are Jim
Steinberg, Deputy National Security Advisor; and Lael Brainard, Deputy
National Economic Advisor. First up is Lael.
MS. BRAINARD: The President is departing Wednesday for his 8th
G-7/G-8 meeting. And before I go into the schedule I'll give you a brief
overview of how the G-8 has evolved during the President's tenure, and a
description of our overall agenda for Okinawa.
During the time that the President has been attending the G-7/G-8
meetings, the G-7 has expanded to formally include Russia, with the first
official summit of the 8 hosted actually by President Clinton in Denver in
1997. And the agenda has expanded beyond issues of macroeconomic
coordination to include the full range of issues critical to world
prosperity and world stability.
Jim will comment on the regional security aspects of the Okinawa
agenda in a moment, and will also preview the bilaterals.
Events have come full circle. The President attended his first summit
in Japan in 1993, and will be attending this, his last summit, again in
Japan. In 1993, the President was the new guy on the block with a weak
U.S. economy and growing deficits. This year he returns as the senior
statesman in the group, with a positive world economic outlook, the longest
expansion in U.S. history, and an established record on turning deficits
It's worth noting that since between 1980 and 1993, every
G-7 communique noted concerns about the U.S. budget deficit. In 1993, for
the first time the deficit reduction plan was commended. And this year, of
course, our deficit, which was projected to be $455 billion in 2000, is
now, in fact, projected to be a surplus of $211 billion.
The other thing that's worth noting on the economic front is the
information technology revolution that has helped drive economic growth in
the United States has drawn attention throughout the world and will, in
fact, be chief theme of the summit.
But at the same time there is heightened prosperity in parts of the
world, there is growing disparity with the poorest nations. One point two
billion of the world's roughly 6 billion people live on less than $1 per
day. Another 1.6 billion live on less than $2 a day. So a second chief
theme of the Okinawa Summit is to address the health divide, the education
divide and the digital divide with a renewed sense of urgency and purpose.
For the first time ever, on the eve of the Summit, G-8 leaders will
meet with leaders of developing nations, representatives of the private
sector and key multilateral development organizations to develop a deeper
partnership on global poverty.
The G-8 will signal their intent to work with these actors on a
coordinated response to support strong efforts by leaders of the developing
world who want to move forward on these critical challenges. This builds
on one of the Cologne summit's primary achievements, which was a plan to
triple the scale of debt relief for the world's poorest. Together, Cologne
and Okinawa are critical steps in the President's personal agenda of
putting a human face on the global economy.
Trade investment and technology are potential powerful engines of
growth and development for poor countries, but they are necessary, not
sufficient. That is why Okinawa is going to look at some of the
complementary policies that are so important. For instance, lack of human
capacity associated with disease, malnutrition and illiteracy make it
impossible for some of the developing countries to take advantage of these
opportunities. Sick and malnourished people have less access to education,
find it harder to learn; illiterate people are harder to reach through
public health campaigns -- targeted HIV-AIDS -- and it's harder for them to
implement complicated treatment regimes.
Let me give you a few of the statistics on HIV-AIDS and infectious
diseases more generally. HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria threaten an
entire generation of the developing world. They're taking a devastating
human and economic toll. And because they're disproportionately afflicting
those with the least ability to afford immunizations and treatments, the
private sector does not have an incentive to invest in these critical areas
that's consistent with the social value of doing so.
That's why a coordinated response is necessary. In Botswana,
Zimbabwe, and South Africa, over 20 percent of the population is infected,
and half of all 15-year-olds are projected to die of AIDS. The population
of each of these countries will actually decline in the coming years. And
44 million children will be orphaned worldwide in the next decade as a
result of HIV-AIDS.
Tuberculosis accounts for more than 2.3 million deaths each year, and
malaria kills more than 1 million, mostly in Africa. And finally, at least
3 million children die needlessly each year for lack of access to existing
The G-8 will come up with a response on some of these challenges.
Secondly, Okinawa will seek to address the education divide. Universal
basic education is a critical goal, both in its own right and because it is
a critical tool for fighting disease and for taking advantage of economic
opportunity. Extensive research suggests this is one of the highest
returning investments in the world.
Let me give you another statistic in this area. About 60-70 percent
of the estimated over 100 million children who are not in school are girls;
40 percent of African children are out of school; 26 percent of South and
West Asian children are out of school. At the G-8 the leaders will be
talking about the principles and commitments that were made at Dakar to
achieve universal education -- universal primary education -- by 2015, and
also the Dakar principle that no country that comes forward with a strong
education for all plan should not be able to implement it for lack of
Finally, let me talk briefly about the digital divide. The G-8
leaders will be discussing with the developing country heads of state and
members of the private sector how to create digital opportunity for the
people of the developing world.
Information technology holds great promise, not only for economic
opportunity, but also for improving access to health care and to education
in poor and remote areas. It's worth noting that of the estimated 332
million people on line, less than 1 percent live in Africa. That's about
2.7, 2.8 out of 700 million people. Less than 5 percent of the computers
connected to the Internet are in developing countries.
This is something where the President's experience in the domestic
context, on closing the domestic digital divide will be helpful as we think
about how to address the even more challenging problem of the global
digital divide. He also will be harking back to his experiences in India,
where he observed a new mother getting information about how to care for
her baby on the Internet in a local community access site, where he
observed people getting their drivers licenses off the Internet in
Hyderabad, and also some of the world's leading entrepreneurs functioning
in India in a developing economy.
This is an area where the administration has a long history. In fact,
the Vice President called for a global information infrastructure in a
speech that he gave in Buenos Aires as far back as 1994. The G-8 leaders
will be releasing an Okinawa Charter on the global information society,
which we hope will commit to mobilize and coordinate both public and
private sector efforts to bridge the divide. And we have been working with
private sectors and foundations to support it.
That is the economic part of the agenda and, again, Jim will go over
the security and regional issues. Let me speak briefly about the schedule,
before handing over to him.
We arrive into Tokyo early in the afternoon on Thursday, where the
President will proceed to the Akasaka State Guest House for a bilateral
meeting with Prime Minister Mori. From there, they will go into the
first-ever meeting with developing nations, in particular, with leaders
from -- Mbeki, from South Africa; Obasango, from Nigeria; Chuan, from
Thailand; and Bouteflika, from Algeria -- representing organizations such
as the G-7/E-7, NAM, OAU and the ASEANs.
From that meeting they will they go into an expanded session to talk
about the development partnership for the 21st century, including
representatives of several multilateral institutions, as well as private
sector representatives. I don't have a complete list at the moment of the
participants, but we do know that Gro Brundtland of the WHO will be there,
Mark Malloch Brown of UNDP, Jim Wolfensohn of the World Bank; and several
members of the private sector, including John Chambers of CISCO, here in
the United States, Vernon Ellis of Andersen International, Idei of Sony and
From there the President travels on to Okinawa. In the morning he
will tour and give remarks at the Cornerstone of Peace Park, which is a
memorial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II
and, in particular, the Battle of Okinawa. It's situated on the cliffs
above the island's southernmost shore and is the location of the last
fighting of a very fierce battle, which I think Jim will give you some more
detail on. The names of all of those who lost their lives in the Battle of
Okinawa, including those from Japan, Okinawa and the United States are
engraved on the granite walls in the park.
He will go from there to the beginning of the G-7, G-8 with a G-7
session at the Conference Hall of the Bankoku Shinryokan Conference Center.
That is a new conference center that was constructed precisely for this
purpose. I believe the name of the convention center means "bridging the
nations." And it includes, I believe, a bronze bell cast in 1458 by the
Ryukyku King which says that the Ryukyku Kingdom -- which is Okinawa --
shall become the bridge between nations. As you know, Prime Minister
Obuchi wanted the summit held here because of the importance of Okinawa.
Then, from there, he'll go into a bilateral meeting with President
Putin of Russia. And from there to the G-8, the first formal session of
the G-8, the working dinner, which, again, will be held at the Conference
On Saturday there is basically a working session of the G-8 all day,
at the Conference Center. And then in the evening dinner will be held, a
social dinner will be held at Shuri Castle. Shuri Castle is the previous
political and administrative center of the Ryukyku Kingdom. It was
destroyed during the war and has subsequently been rebuilt and has an
example of traditional Okinawan architecture.
We conclude on Sunday with a G-8 session in the morning and the
adoption of the communique. I believe there is a bilateral with Prime
Minister Blair of the UK. There is a farewell ceremony; I think it will be
a cultural dance that includes 150 Okinawan children. And then the
President will visit Camp Foster, which is a Marine base on Okinawa. And,
again, Jim will give you greater detail on that.
MR. STEINBERG: Thank you, Lael. I think this is a first in briefing
room experience, of the sherpa and the ex-sherpa briefing on the upcoming
Let me say a word about the security and foreign policy part of the
agenda for the G-8 meeting, and then I'll talk a little bit about both the
Okinawa/Japan bilaterals and the other meetings that the President will
have during the trip.
As veteran G-8 watchers know, the first dinner Friday night is
dedicated to the foreign policy issues. And as often happened in the past,
the sort of event of the day is the normal fare on the menu. We've had
issues in the past involving Bosnia and the Indian nuclear test and such.
This year there is no one single issue that I think is going to
dominate the agenda, unless we have some dramatic events between now and
Friday. But it does give the leaders an opportunity to discuss a broader
range of national security related issues. In particular, I think this
year there will continue to be a focus on nonproliferation and particularly
an effort to get G-8 support for the recently concluded bilateral agreement
between the United States and Russia on plutonium disposition.
That agreement, which was reached when the President was in Moscow, is
backed up by Congress having already $200 million here in the United States
and we're seeking a similar amount in the year to come. But we need
support from the other G-8 countries -- Japan, in particular, has been
supportive in the past and we look forward to support from others.
Similarly, in the area of Russia's WMD stocks, we would like to see
some further progress in the G-8 countries helping Russia deal with the
problem and the expenses associated with Russia's destruction of its
chemical weapons stocks. And this is another opportunity for the G-8 to
work together towards that end.
A second feature on the national security side which will be a subject
of discussion is in the area of conflict prevention. Under the efforts of
the foreign ministers over the last year, there has been an effort to deal
with some of the kind of more persistent problems that fuel conflicts
around the world -- including small arms sales that fuel conflicts, the
need to develop a framework to allow the international financial
institutions to be effective and work in post-conflict situations, focus
particularly in the last six months to a year on the problem of conflict
diamonds, and the need to develop an effective regime to prevent these from
being a source of funding for rebel forces.
And finally, a growing interest in the need to enhance the
international community's capacity to provide civilian police in
post-conflict situations. It's a problem we've seen in many of the
peacekeeping operations that the United States has been involved in, from
Haiti to Bosnia to Kosovo, and the difficulty of getting counterparts to
our military peacekeepers to deal with the problem of creating stability
and security in these post-conflict environments.
Finally, on the security agenda there will be a discussion on
terrorism, particularly strengthening the U.N. conventions on terrorism and
on funding and financial support for terrorists.
In addition to these sort of functional issues, the leaders will touch
on a number of most important regional security problems, including a
broad-ranging discussion on the Balkans, the conflicts now underway and the
U.N. efforts to cope with them in Africa. I'm sure the President will be
in a position to give them an update on his efforts over the last week in
Camp David on the Middle East peace process; further discussions on the
efforts to bring stability to South Asia and to move down the path away
from nuclear and missile spread there; and, undoubtedly, some discussion of
recent developments in North Korea, which a number of the countries in the
G-8 have considerable interest.
Turning now to the bilateral piece of the President's trip, this will
be the President's third opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Mori in a
relatively short space of time. In addition to the meeting here, the
President had a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister when he went to
Japan for the memorial service in honor of the late Prime Minister Obuchi,
and it's a real reflection of the continued importance that the United
States attaches to the U.S.-Japan relationship and the efforts that both
countries have made over the last eight years to transform the relationship
to reflect the new realities and the new possibilities of the post-Cold War
in East Asia.
This is a relationship that is multifaceted, and in addition to
discussing security issues, they will -- security issues like Korea and the
Middle East peace process, where Japan has been a very important financial
contributor to efforts in that region -- we will discuss broad-ranging
global issues under the framework of our common agenda, and a number of
outstanding economic and trade issues.
As Lael mentioned, one of the distinctive features of the summit from
the Japanese point of view was the decision to hold this summit in Okinawa,
and this provides President Clinton and the whole delegation an opportunity
to really reflect on the value that we attach to both Japan generally, and
the people of Okinawa to supporting our presence there. And the visit of
the President to the Peace Park, where he will talk before a group of
community leaders and representatives of the community, will be an
opportunity for him to address directly to the Okinawan people the
importance that we attach to the relationship and the importance that we
attach to developing strong human ties as possible -- the goal of trying to
have a good neighborly relationship with the people in Okinawa.
As Lael also said, the President will have two bilateral meetings in
the time that he is in Okinawa. The first will be with Prime Minister
Putin. This will build on the meetings that the President had while he was
in Moscow just a few months ago. This, again, will be a wide-ranging
opportunity for the President to -- and the new President of Russia,
President Putin, to discuss the full range of their issues, not only on
issues of arms control, strategic stability and threat reduction, but also
the economic issues, regional security issues. And the President, I'm
confident, will have an opportunity to raise some of the concerns that he
has on issues such as press freedom, the rule of law, and Chechnya.
The second bilateral will be with Prime Minister Blair. This, again,
will be a wide-ranging agenda where I expect that they will touch on
Russia, the Balkans, the Middle East peace process, the progress that we've
made in Northern Ireland and our joint efforts in particular to try to
bring stability and peace to Sierra Leone.
So with that, let me stop and bring Lael back up and take your
Q Jim, how significant do you expect national missile defense to be
an issue with the Prime Minister in view of the failure of the test? And
the foreign ministers last week said that they stress the importance of
maintaining the ABM treaty. Do you read that as a criticism of NMD?
MR. STEINBERG: On the second, definitely not. I think one of the
hallmarks of our approach to the whole question of national missile defense
is precisely that we are convinced that it is important to maintain the ABM
treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability. But the treaty, by its own
terms, always contemplated the need to update it to deal with changes in
the strategic environment.
And our argument, to the Russians and others, is to look at the
emerging threats, threats which the Russians themselves have acknowledged
in the joint statement that President Putin and President Clinton issued in
Moscow, and see that by making modest changes in the ABM treaty we can
address those emerging threats, at the same time preserve the core
importance of the ABM treaty -- in contrast to other proposals for NMD,
which would put the ABM treaty very much in jeopardy. So we welcome that
call by the foreign ministers.
I think that -- I'm sure there will be discussion of NMD. It's an
important topic. The President, I'm sure, will want to take advantage of
having the leaders there to discuss the issues that are facing him and the
decision that he will be making in the coming weeks. I think that he will
indicate that he is going to take into account the concerns that have been
addressed and all of the factors that we've previously identified, the four
basic variables of cost, threat, technical feasibility and the impact on
overall security, and continue an important dialogue that he has had both
individually and collectively with the leaders over the last year or so.
Q Will he still say that he intends to make that decision? Some
Democratic leaders are urging him not -- to let that go to his successor.
MR. STEINBERG: Well, there is a little bit of a semantic thing. He
will make a decision whether to begin deployment next year. Whether he
decides to do that or not is obviously of the options that available to
him. But he will make a decision as to whether to go forward at this time
Q How do you think the President is going to -- alleged crime by
the serviceman stationed in Okinawa? Is he going to talk about it in the
bilateral meeting with the President, or is he going to talk directly to
the people at Okinawa when he makes remarks?
MR. STEINBERG: Well, as I think you know, both our Ambassador to
Japan and the senior military commander have directly addressed that case.
And I think that, more generally, the President is going to talk about the
importance that we attach to good neighborly relations with the people of
Okinawa, the responsibility that we feel to make sure that we do everything
possible to make that a positive arrangement. And to do what we need to do
to make sure that the safety of the people, of the Okinawans are assured.
So I think in general terms he will address precisely his sense of
responsibility and gratitude to the people of Okinawa for doing what
they've done as part of our shared interest in providing stability for the
region. Because our presence in Japan is not simply for the benefit of the
United States, but as I think the Japanese Government understands very
clearly, and has expressed very clearly, that this is something that
benefits all the people of the region. So we want to find a way together
to address the concerns that the community has; to have a good dialogue
with the community about those things, but to understand that we need to
have a good strong shared basis for our continued presence there.
Q What do you think is the impact of those incidents over the
President's visit to Japan this time around, especially in Okinawa?
MR. STEINBERG: Without commenting on any specifics, let me just say
that any time an incident arises it's regrettable and we do everything that
we can to try to remove the causes of that. We want to have a relationship
where there are never any incidents of that type. But the most important
thing is to have a good dialogue, to have an understanding with the
community leaders so that if there are other steps that they feel are
useful to take that we can have those kinds of discussions. And I think
that part of the exercise that all of the services in Okinawa are now
undergoing is precisely to review our practices -- Secretary Cohen has
asked for a review to see whether there are other steps that need to be
taken. And we take this very seriously.
Q Will the President support efforts by some europeans -- and
Germany, in particular -- to get a clause in the final communique warning
Milosovic to -- hands off Montenegro? And is this something of a test for
Putin, where he stands on this? How he comes down on the whole question of
MR. STEINBERG: Well, as I think you know, this was a subject of
discussion by the foreign ministers at their meeting in anticipation of the
leaders' meeting. And I think that many of the G-8 countries, particularly
our NATO allies and ourselves are concerned about efforts by Milosovic to
destabilize the region, not only in Montenegro, but more broadly. And so,
as I said, I expect both in the dinner meeting and in the bilateral with
President Putin that the issue of stability in the Balkans will come up and
the President will stress the importance that we attach to maintaining the
democratic government under Mr. Djukanovic.
How that will be handled in the communique I think is always a little
bit unpredictable. One of the lessons that I've learned from my experience
being there is that the discussions, particularly at the evening dinner,
are ones in which the leaders themselves like to kind of take charge of and
decide how they want to handle it in terms of their public expression. So
it's a little hard for me to anticipate that. But I'm quite sure that the
issue specifically of the risks of actions in Montenegro, and more
generally about the concerns that we have about Milosevic's continued
destabilizing presence and the need to move on to a real democratic
government in Serbia is going to be a matter of discussion.
Q And what about the read on Putin's position on this? Is this
going to be considered a test of his "are you with us or against us" sort
MR. STEINBERG: I think the argument that the President has made to
President Putin -- and they discussed this when the President was in Moscow
-- is that it is in our common interest to have a stable Balkans, and that
as long as Milosevic is there we will have instability. And so I think
that what we will continue to impress on the Russians is the fact that we
have a common interest in seeing that kind of change there. You look at
the changes that are taking place throughout the region -- the installation
of a truly democratic government in Croatia, the positive impact that
that's having, some of the changes that are taking place in the political
landscape in Bosnia -- and that Serbia remains the most important source of
So it's not simply a test for Putin, but it's the Russians'
understanding that it really is in their interest, as it is for all the
countries of Europe, to solve this problem and to have a solution which
brings greater stability.
Q The President said in his interview with the New York Daily News
about going to Japan -- he said that he hopes he will be able to go and
that he will give it his best shot. This doesn't seem like a real strong
determination that he will go or that he has all intention of going. Do
you get a growing sense that the President may miss a day or the entire G-8
summit because of the Middle East peace talks?
MR. STEINBERG: I think Joe spoke to that earlier this morning, and I
think that I can't really improve on what he's had to say, so I'll leave it
Q Do you expect the President to speak to the other countries
present about their financial support for U.N. peacekeeping missions, and
possibly for financial support towards any settlement that might come out
of the Mideast peace talks?
MR. STEINBERG: We certainly -- the issue of funding for the U.N. and
for peacekeeping missions has been a common topic. As you can tell from
the agenda that I've described, they're going to -- it's going to be hard
to get all of these things in. But I think, particularly in the context of
African peacekeeping, that there may well be some discussion about how to
mobilize the resources that we need to have. It's certainly something that
we feel very strongly about and are very concerned by some of the
appropriations bills now pending before Congress, which do not fully fund
our obligations under peacekeeping. And I think the President will make
clear that we take that very seriously and are going to judge those
appropriations bills in part by how they do on that.
I think that, more broadly on the peace process, it's just premature
to say where we'll be at that process. But I would simply note that both
the EU and Japan have in the past been generous contributors to aspects of
the peace process in the Middle East and we would certainly very much hope
and expect that they would continue to be.
Q Jim, is it difficult for the President to participate in
discussions on debt relief when Congress hasn't fully funded our
responsibilities under that?
MS. BRAINARD: The President, I believe, will actually want very much
to talk about debt relief because this is a very high personal priority for
him. In particular, I think they'll want to review progress that's been
made over the course of the year. Nine countries have qualified over the
course of this year. They're expected to receive about $16 billion in debt
reduction and will be saving about $90 million per year on debt service
payments, and as many as 20 countries may actually qualify by the end of
I want to give you an example or two on how this money is being used,
because I think it is exactly how we were hoping it would be used. In
Mozambique, even after the floods, expenditures on education and health
care are going to increase from 31 percent of current expenditures to over
35 percent, an increase of $45 million. And the debt to service export
ratio is going to be about 2.5 percent, a very large decline over the
previous 20 percent. Similarly -- I'll give you another example --
Honduras is going to save about $130 million a year and is going to use the
debt relief monies to hire a thousand new teachers, buy medicines and
hospital equipment, and provide low-income housing.
On the funding front, as you may recall from last year, this was a top
priority for the President. It came down to a real appropriations fight at
the very end of the year and we were able to fund the bilateral portion.
The House vote last week suggests that we may be making headway, and we
will continue to push very, very hard to fund the multilateral portion of
Q Do you expect any recriminations from the other leaders over the
fact that, despite your efforts, the full funding has not been forthcoming?
MS. BRAINARD: I think the leaders all recognize that the President is
a leader on the debt relief issue. He led with the announcement of
100-percent bilateral debt relief, for instance. The rest of the G-8 is
now on board for that, so I actually expect those discussions to be very
positive and a lot of agreement in the room about what needs to be done to
move forward on that.
Q Are you expecting the two countries will be able to resolve the
trade dispute over the NTT interconnection rates before the bilateral talks
in Tokyo? If not, will the two leaders negotiate -- will there be talks in
Tokyo? And how would that affect a G-8 discussion on digital divide, IT
and so on? Now that the President is busy brokering Middle East peace at
Camp David, how much attention is he paying to this particular issue? Is
he briefed on a daily basis on the ongoing talks in Tokyo?
MS. BRAINARD: Well, it's not possible at this moment to predict
whether the negotiations will be finished. The negotiations are ongoing.
It's worth noting that the issue of NTT interconnection rates, the rates
that are charged to other telecommunications providers, is going to be a
very high visibility issue going into the summit. I think all of the G-7
have a similar view on this. And it is very important for Japan's bid to
take the lead in the new economy, to have a new economy summit. This will
be a very important signal.
Just to give you some numbers so that you know what the discrepancies
are like, the rates now offered by NTT are between two to five times higher
than rates available elsewhere in the G-7. The UK and the U.S. are
actually the lowest -- we've got these numbers in yen, but let me just give
you an example. The UK is 1.74 versus 5.57, and the gap is actually
widening. They're coming down further in Europe and in the U.S. So this
is critical for Japan's competitiveness, and I think that the Japanese
leadership understands that this is a big part of entering the new economy.
Q Is the President paying attention to this issue now?
MS. BRAINARD: This is an issue that the President has raised with
Prime Minister Mori and with Prime Minister Obuchi before that. So, yes,
this is an issue that's very much on his radar screen.
Q I was just wondering, you had mentioned that this is going to be
a very important issue and a good signal whether an agreement is reached or
not. Do you think Japan can legitimately call this an IT summit if they go
into the summit without an agreement and without having their own
population able to connect into the Internet, you know, economically?
MS. BRAINARD: Well, I think the agenda that Japan has set for the
summit, with our strong support, will be very strong in the area of the
information economy, both on the kinds of policies that the G-7 countries
themselves must take to ensure that information technology is widely
disseminated and widely accessible in their own economies; and also, as we
were discussing earlier, to close the global digital divide.
So I think that the summit will be a strong IT summit. And I also
think that is very important for Japan as it moves forward on this new
technology to address the issue of the inter-connection rates.
Q Will the President be supporting the initiative that Prime
Minister Mori made on Saturday to pledge exact dollar figures to bridge the
global digital divide while he's there?
MS. BRAINARD: There will be, I believe, a number of outcomes that
will be supportive of the efforts to address the digital divide, as well as
the education and health divides. And we're very much welcome initiatives
by members of -- other members of the G-7, such as Japan, on each of these
things, as well as initiatives, efforts on the part of the private sector
and on the part of the multilateral organizations. This is really a summit
at which the G-8 leaders will be talking about how to coordinate a response
from all the many actors that have a role to play.
Q Just a follow-up. You had mentioned earlier that the White House
had been working with some private organizations about putting forth some
deliverables on that. Could you just be a little bit more specific? What
exactly are you guys --
MS. BRAINARD: In this area we have had a private sector group very
engaged in looking at what the key obstacles many developing countries face
in making full use of information technology to advance their development
objectives. And the private sector has been looking at initiatives that
individual companies can make and that they can make cooperatively. We're
not ready to talk yet about those initiatives. I think the private sector
participants are still working on how they can be supportive of this
But their participation is absolutely critical. The private sector
has led on the information revolution and we see them as a really key --
perhaps the key element in closing the digital divide.
Q Are you aware, has there been any conversations with the Japanese
or any of the other leaders about the possibility that the President might
miss, might be delayed -- any contingency plans made for his arriving late
or maybe not coming at all?
MR. STEINBERG: Let me just say, Terry, and I will reiterate. I
really can't improve on what Joe said. But I'm unaware of any specific
conversations with any other governments.
Q Do you expect any improvement, progress, or even an conclusion of
the negotiations over host nation support deal with Japan, over this --
MR. STEINBERG: I have a parallel answer to Lael's answer on NTT
interconnection, which is that we are having ongoing discussions. Under
Secretary Slocumb, I believe, is in Japan as we speak. And this is an
important issue to both countries. And we are very hopeful that we can get
a good resolution of that.
Q Jim, the First Lady is not going to Okinawa, we all know why/
But is it unusual for the First Lady not to go to a G-7/G-8 summit?
MR. STEINBERG: My understanding is that a number of the spouses will
not be present, so I don't think it's unusual. And it's certainly -- my
experience in past ones is that some have come and some have not. So I
think it's a mixed bag.
Q President Putin is meeting President Clinton after meeting Jiang
Zemin and Kim Chong-il. Is there anything about what President Clinton
will do with the Korean issues with President Putin?
MR. STEINBERG: Well, I think both of these meetings are welcome. I
think that we welcome Russia taking an interest in the issues of regional
security. We very much hope and expect that when President Putin meets
with Kim Chong-il that he will reiterate the message that the rest of the
international community is giving, which is, one, to welcome the steps
towards reconciliation between North and South, and to encourage North
Korea to take steps to deal particularly with its missile program, both its
export of missile technology and its indigenous missile program. And I
think that if President Putin wants to make a positive contribution, this
is a real opportunity to use this meeting, and similarly, in his
discussions with President Jiang, to support efforts to reduce tensions in
the region, particularly on the Korean Peninsula.
Q He will surely raise the issue of NMD, national missile defense
system. What can the E-7 do with that?
MR. STEINBERG: Well, again, I think that the most constructive thing
that President Putin can do on the issue of NMD is to encourage the
government of North Korea to engage with us in the missile talks, to reach
some resolution on the two aspects of North Korea's missile program that
we're concerned about, because our interest in and the potential need for
NMD is very much driven by missile developments. We welcome the fact that
North Korea has a moratorium on missile testing, but its program still
continues. And if the Russians, as I think, share our view that this is
potentially a matter of concern, we very much hope that they'll transmit
Q Jim, on NMD, since the President's meeting with President Putin,
have you seen any hint whatsoever of softening in the Russian position or
the Russian objection on adapting ABM? And, secondly, do you expect any
significant progress on the rest of the arms control agenda in this
MR. STEINBERG: Well, I expect that the two Presidents are going to
discuss the full range of issues, which include defenses, offensive
reductions, and cooperation between our two countries. I think it's a very
important part of the agenda that they set out in Moscow, and we will be
continuing to look for ways to make further progress and cooperation. I'm
not in the predictions business, so I don't know whether we'll have
anything specific coming out of this. But as I said earlier, I noted that
just recently President Putin once again acknowledged that there is some
basis for our concerns. And we hope that that will translate into some
Q Is it the intention to announce the E.U. carousel trade sanctions
before the President leaves for the summit?
MS. BRAINARD: We're continuing to review the comments from the
private sector, and I don't actually have information for you on
specifically when the list will be finalized for public release.
Q Thank you.
END 1:30 P.M. EDT
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