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JAPAN WILL MAINTAIN SECURITY TIES WITH U.S.

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Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama said Tuesday Japan will maintain security arrangements with the United States despite a thaw in East-West tension.

"There has been no change in the military situation in Asia and tension still continues in the region," Nakayama said in a talk before the Japan National Press Club.He said there has been a call in the U.S. Congress for reduction of U.S. armed forces in Europe and Asia over the last few years but "the matter has not been discussed on the governmental level between Japan and the United States."

"The status quo will be maintained until a process for easing tension emerges in this region," he said.

The United States deploys about 45,000 troops in Japan, mostly in the Pacific islands of Okinawa, under the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty.

The government has earmarked 4.135 trillion yen ($28.7 billion) for Japan's defense buildup in fiscal 1990, beginning April 1. The sum represents a 5.5 percent increase over the current year and accounts for 0.99 percent of the nation's gross national product.

The 1990 fiscal budget is scheduled to be finalized at a Cabinet session scheduled for Friday, government officials said.

Nakayama said Japan should try to promote the existing cooperative relationship with the United States in all fields, military and economic.

He said Japan also is ready to provide active financial support for the democratization process sweeping Eastern Europe today.

Nakayama indicated Japan will continue to pursue its policy of separating politics and economics in promoting relations with the Soviet Union.

Working-level talks to work out a peace treaty between the two countries have made little head way over the territorial dispute involving four Soviet-held North Pacific islands, claimed by Japan.

Nakayama is scheduled to visit Thailand and Malaysia Jan. 2-6.

He said his talks with Thai leaders will focus on ways to restore peace in Cambodia.

The Cambodian issue is the main problem facing Asia today, he said.

He is scheduled to meet with Thai Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan and Foreign Minister Siddhi Savetsila.

While in Malaysia, he will meet with Prime Minister Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad and Foreign Minister Dato' Abu Hussan Haji Omar.