Mr. Prime Minister, to you and to the other members of the Japanese delegation, it is a real pleasure to have you back here at the White House.
We've had a very successful discussion inside, one that reaffirms the importance of the strong relationship between our two nations. We discussed, of course, our global partnership. We reviewed the prospects for the meeting that we're both attending, next week's G - 7 summit in Munich.
First on our agenda was our mutual commitment to global peace and prosperity. I'm encouraged by what the Prime Minister told me about Japan's plans to stimulate economic growth. I had a chance to fill him in on ours. Both of us confirmed our desire for a strong and lasting recovery, and we also discussed the Uruguay round and the necessity of redoubling our efforts to increase global prosperity. This will directly benefit both the people of the United States and Japan, and we both want to see a successful conclusion of that round.
I also told the Prime Minister that I welcome the passage of Japan's peace cooperation bill. That will allow Japan to participate actively in building a lasting peace in Cambodia and in other world trouble spots. We agreed to cooperate on other regional threats and problems from nuclear and missile proliferation concerns in North Korea to the resolution of the POW/MIA issue with Vietnam.
We talked about how at Munich we can assist in assuring the safety of nuclear power in the former Soviet Union. We reaffirmed full United States support for Japan's position on the Northern Territories.
Finally, I assured the Prime Minister of the importance of Asia to the United States, of our resolve to maintain our forward military presence in the Pacific and our appreciation for Japan's host nation support.
We've made progress in resolving some of the differences between us, particularly with regard to our trade relationship. Over the past 6 months, we've reached significant agreements to improve American industries' access to Japan's billion computer market, to their billion paper markets. These agreements are very good news to the American worker.
Still, I feel we have more to do. And, Mr. Prime Minister, I want to mention our continued interest in access to your markets for automobiles and auto parts, semiconductors, as well as cooperation on the super collider and striking down structural impediments to freer trade.
We'll track our progress on every item identified by our action plan. And sir, you can be assured we will do our part to improve our own competitiveness.
I've made it clear, and I'll continue to make it clear, that this administration and the American people are absolutely committed to trade that is both free and fair. Protectionism simply is not the answer. The record is clear. Our efforts the past 3 years have substantially increased American exports to Japan. And I will work to support the efforts of America's private sector to create an export vision to open foreign markets that mean more American jobs.
So we need to continue expanding, not closing, our trade relations. And whether it's protectionist measures in this country or in Japan, the result is the same thing. Protectionism punches a hole in a healthy economy.
So I'm confident that the Prime Minister and I depart here today knowing that we do not help our respective nations by hurting each other. He stood for that principle for a long, long time in various positions that he's held in Japan. I hope that I stand for that principle.
As important as our economic interaction is, I think it's also important for us to remember that America and Japan share three very important values: our support for the free market economic system, our love of political democracy, and our mutual interest in global peace and security. I am optimistic that our two nations can work closely to advance and protect these values in the Pacific Rim and elsewhere across the globe. And when these values are threatened, it's critical that our two nations unite. Our unity will be vital if these three key values are to survive and prosper in the new world that we see.
So let me say, Mr. Prime Minister, that I believe that this new period in world affairs holds great promise for the American-Japanese relationship. And once again, it is an honor to host you here in Washington to reaffirm our partnership, the respect and trust between our people, and to welcome you as a friend.
Thank you, sir.
Note: The President spoke at 4:31 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.