Federal Judge OK's Tobacco Regulation (4/25/97)
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Full Text of Clinton/Hashimoto News Conference -- April 25, 1997
CLINTON: Please be seated.
Before we begin the discussion of my meetings with the prime minister, let me say that I have just come from signing the instrument of ratification to the Chemical Weapons Convention along with the vice president and the secretary of state and others who worked very hard for it.
Last night's strong, bipartisan vote in the Senate will keep our soldiers and our citizens safer. And it will send a clear signal that Americans of both parties are united in their resolve to maintain the leadership of our nation into the next century.
It is very appropriate that the vote took place last night when I was visiting with the prime minister and that the signing took place a moment ago while Prime Minister Hashimoto was here because Japan set a very strong example for the world by ratifying this treaty more than a year ago.
I am particularly pleased on this historic day to welcome the prime minister to Washington. Over the last two years, Ryutaro and I have met many times. We've built a good friendship that reflects the shared values and interests of the world's two strongest democracies and leading economies.
Today's discussions were no exception. The prime minister and I continued our work to make sure that our partnership meets the challenges of the new century.
Our security alliance remains the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region. Building on the Joint Declaration we signed in Japan last April, we are strengthening our cooperation while reducing the burden of our bases on the Japanese people.
Today we reviewed recent progress in consolidating some of our bases in Okinawa in ways that reflect our continuing sensitivity to their effect on the lives of the Okinawan people.
CLINTON: I particularly appreciate the strong leadership and support for our alliance the prime minister showed in passing legislation to enable our forces to continue using these important facilities.
We also discussed regional security, including our joint interest in promoting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The United States and Japan are united in urging North Korea to accept the standing offer for four-party peace talks.
I want to thank the prime minister for Japan's role in the Korean Energy Development Corporation -- Organization that has helped to keep North Korea's dangerous nuclear program frozen.
The prime minister and I agreed on the critical importance of cooperative relations with China. We also agreed on the need for the international community to stand firmly behind the progress of democracy in Cambodia.
We both recognize the importance of keeping our economic relationship moving in the right direction.
Over the last four years, we've worked hard to open markets and achieve a better balance in our trade and investment ties. I told Prime Minister Hashimoto we need to build on this success, to create new opportunities in key sectors for both the workers of our country and broad benefits for the consumers of Japan.
We both want to promote strong domestic demand-led growth in Japan, and to avoid a significant increase in Japan's external surplus. These are essential to sustaining the progress that has been made.
I welcome the prime minister's commitment to restructuring Japan's economy, including his support of far-reaching deregulation. An ambitious reform program should bring economic benefits to Japan and improve market access for American and other foreign firms.
To this end, we have agreed to intensify talks on deregulation under our framework agreement.
Among the global issues we discussed were preparations for this June Summit of the Eight in Denver, and how we can work together to strengthen reform in the United Nations.
Tomorrow, the vice president and the prime minister will discuss our common agenda to fight disease, protect the environment and meet other important common challenges.
Finally, let me say I had the opportunity to thank the prime minister for Japan's efforts to bring our young people closer together. The new Fulbright Memorial Fund will send 5,000 American high school teachers and administrators to Japan over the next five years. We welcome the prime minister's initiatives to send high school students from Okinawa to study in the United States, and will increase our funding for American students to do the same there.
These ties of friendship reflect the shared values that underpin our vital alliance. If you will permit to quote a haiku poem.
Old friend standing tall;
Moving as one, in this time of challenge and change -- that's what Prime Minister Hashimoto and I are committed to see the United States and Japan do.
Mr. Prime Minister, welcome.
HASHIMOTO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I am pleased to be able to make this official visit to Washington, D.C., and to have had a thorough exchange of views with President Clinton.
Last night, the president invited for drinks and we had an enjoyable evening at the White House. There I conveyed to him my sympathies for the damage caused by the flood in the Midwest.
I also was able to express our joint pleasure at the approval of the Chemical Weapons Convention by the Senate. I had three hours of frank discussions with Bill as friends and as leaders of the two countries. I believe we had the following four as the main themes.
The first theme is the security relationship, which is the foundation of the Japan-U.S. friendship and alliance. We fully agreed that we must further enhance the security relationship, and based on the Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security issued last April, I explained to President Clinton the efforts my administration has been making on issues concerning Okinawa as its top priority task to secure a solid basis for the stable security relationship.
President Clinton made it clear that he will continue to be sensitive to and cooperative on issues concerning Okinawa, including steady implementation of the SACO final report.
With regard to the review of the guidelines for Japan-U.S. defense cooperation, we'll intensify this joint task as we head toward this fall. I'd also like to ensure full transparency, both at home and abroad, of the review process.
HASHIMOTO (through translator): We also reaffirmed our commitment in the joint declaration that, in response to changes which may arise in the international security environment, we will continue to consult closely on defense policies and military postures, including the U.S. force structure in Japan, which will best meet the requirement of the two governments.
The second thing is the economic relationship. I gave to the president updates on the reforms now being undertaken in Japan by the government and political parties in unison, especially on structural reforms, including fiscal reform and consolidation, deregulation and financial system reform.
I must say that these reforms do have great relevance to maintaining and enhancing the good bilateral economic relationship we enjoy today.
The president welcomed my commitment to restructuring Japan's economy, including far-reaching deregulation.
We both support the common objective of avoiding a significant increase in Japan's external surplus by promoting strong domestic demand- led growth in Japan.
Furthermore, we have decided to have the officials of the two governments start discussions on how we could enhance the Japan-U.S. dialogue on deregulation under our framework.
The third thing is furtherance of peace and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region under Japan-U.S. cooperation and joint leadership. In this context, the president and I agreed on the special significance of establishing constructive cooperative relations with China.
We reaffirmed that Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea will continue to deal with issues concerning the Korean Peninsula, including early realization of the four-party talks and promotion of the activities by the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, or KEDO, under tripartite coordination.
On Cambodia, there was concurrence of views. The international community needs to send out a political message for the stability of Cambodia for consolidation of democracy.
I have dispatched Mr. Komura, the state secretary for foreign affairs, to Cambodia to fulfill this task.
The last and the fourth it seems -- Japan and U.S. cooperation on global issues. It was reconfirmed in our meeting that we'll further coordinate our policies on such wide-ranging issues as the Denver Summit, anti-terrorism and anti-crime measures, United Nation's reforms, cooperation with Russia and the Middle East peace process.
I'd like to note here that the seizure of the Japanese ambassador's residence in Peru recently came to an end with the three unfortunate casualties, yet with the vast majority of the hostages freed without serious injuries.
Today, our two nations renewed their resolves and resolved to condemn and fight terrorism without succumbing to it, hand-in-hand with the international community.
I would also like to welcome the approval of the Chemical Weapons Convention in the Senate yesterday, as I mentioned at the outset.
And I certainly welcome the fact that this document was also ratified today.
The president and I agreed to strengthen our efforts to promote a common agenda towards the 21st century. I propose to vigorously promote environmental education and am happy to have President Clinton's agreement.
As the president mentioned just now, it gave the two of us much delight that people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the United States have been steadily widening as exemplified by the teacher exchange through the Fulbright Memorial program, and the high school student exchange between Okinawa Prefecture and the United States.
There is no other bilateral relationship in the world that has any semblance unto the Japan-U.S. relationship in the breadth and fundamental importance.
In closing, I'd like to reiterate my determination to further enhance the Japan-U.S. relationship for the benefit of not only the two peoples, but also for the Asia Pacific region and the world as a whole on the solid basis of my close cooperation with President Clinton.
Thank you very much.
CLINTON: What we will do is I will call on an American journalist, and then the prime minister will call on a Japanese journalist. And we'll begin with Mr. Fornier (ph).
QUESTION: I want to ask you a couple of questions about (OFF- MIKE)?
The court said that the FDA cannot restrict tobacco advertising, which is a cornerstone of your crackdown against teenage smoking. Other than an appeal, is there any other recourse, for example regulating advertising (OFF-MIKE).
Otherwise (OFF-MIKE). Would the White House be less likely to (OFF-MIKE)?
CLINTON: Well, first of all, this is on balance a great victory for the fight we have been waging for our children's health because the fundamental legal issue was did the FDA have jurisdiction over tobacco companies? And they said yes.
And since we believe strongly that for young people access equals addiction, the fact that the yes includes the ability of the FDA to deal with access of young people to tobacco is a huge victory.
And we started out against overwhelming odds -- a very powerful interest group. No administration had undertaken this before. And so I feel a great deal of reassurance today.
Now, the court also held, as you pointed out, that the statute which gave the FDA authority to regulate tobacco and regulate access, among other things, did not cover, by its expressed terms, advertising (audio gap) celebrating about this.
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