Bush urges Japan to play a global role under Japan-U.S. military alliance

U.S. President George W. Bush used his speech to the Japanese parliament on February 19 to reiterate his resolve to further push ahead with the "anti-terrorism war." "By defeating terror, we will defend the peace of the world," he said.

Commending the Japanese government for the dispatch of Self-Defense Force ships to the Indian Ocean, the U.S. president said, "Your response to the terrorist threat has demonstrated the strength of our alliance, and the indispensable role of Japan that is global, and that begins in Asia."

Referring in particular to a special gift of an "arrow to defeat the evil and bring peace to the Earth" he received from Prime Minister Koizumi last fall during their talks held on the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference, Bush stated, "Japan and America are working to find and disrupt terrorist cells."

Also, emphasizing that "America, like Japan, is a Pacific nation drawn by trade and values and history to be a part of Asia's future," Bush declared, "We stand more committed than ever to a forward presence in this region."

As regards the Taiwan question, the president maintained that "America will remember our commitments to the people on Taiwan." Stressing the need for the U.S. to support the Taiwan government based on the "Taiwan Relations Act," and that "America will remember our commitments to the people on Taiwan," he stated that the United States "will press on with an effective program of missile defenses."

Bush also used the speech to praise Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro by saying, "Japan, thanks to my friend, the Prime Minister, is on the path to reform," Bush urged Koizumi to push ahead with the "structural reform," adding that "in times of crisis and stagnation, it is better to move forward boldly with reform and restructuring than to wait." (end)