Japanese PM says U.S. has role to play in Asia's open regionalism

13:57, November 15, 2009      

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Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said on Saturday during a keynote speech at the APEC CEO Summit held here that the United States has a role to play in Asia's "open regionalism."

Referring to multilateral frameworks for cooperation, including his proposal for the creation of an "East Asian community," Hatoyama said, "I don't think we should question which countries would be in and out of it."

When asked about if the East Asia community will include the United States, Press Secretary of Japanese Foreign Ministry Kazuo Kodama emphasized at a daily briefing that the vision of the East Asia community is based on the principle of open regionalism and U.S. has a role to play in the open regionalism.

Confirming the ASEAN is the core of the East Asia community, he said that Japan is exploring the building blocks in community building, and he commented U.S. President Obama's announcement of the U.S. reengagement in the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) is "one of the building blocks" for Asia's community building, although Japan needs time to examine it.

The TPP was set up in 2005 between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, and some hope it will be used as a model for a region-wide trade pact for the Asia-Pacific.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced Saturday that Washington will engage in the four-member mechanism, a cornerstone to build a broader open trade area in the Asia-Pacific region.

Source: Xinhua
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