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    Congressman Berkley's Remarks at the International Inter-Parliamentary Conference

U.S. Representative Shelley Berkley

Remarks 01/17/03

International Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Asian-Pacific Security


 “Trilateral Relations among Taiwan, Japan, and the U.S.”


                     Thank you Mr. Chairman for leading this panel’s important topic on trilateral relations among Taiwan, Japan, and the U.S.—I look forward to a spirited and lively discussion with my distinguished co-panelists on how we can strengthen the common bonds that have allied our nations for over half a century.  I am especially honored to be here in Taipei for this conference on Asian-Pacific security.


                     The peace and security of the Asian-Pacific region continues to rely on the strategic alliance the U.S. has fostered with Japan.  As we enter the 21st Century—and confront the myriad of threats and challenges we face together—this alliance is more important than ever. 


                     Starting with the 1951 Peace Treaty in San Francisco, the U.S. and Japan have forged a strong bilateral relationship that was strengthened when President Clinton and Prime Minister Hashimoto signed the U.S.-Japan Joint Declaration on Security in April of 1996.  According to the Declaration, the President and the Prime Minister agreed that the three legs of the U.S.-Japan relationship—security, political, and economic—are based on shared values and interests and rest on the mutual confidence embodied in the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security (signed January 19, 1960). 


                     In an effort to better define the roles and missions of the two nations, and to further enhance U.S.-Japan security cooperation, the 1997 Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation reaffirmed that this bilateral alliance continues to promote regional security and pledges to strengthen the U.S.-Japan relationship to meet the growing challenges of the 21st Century.


                     These two important milestones  reaffirmed these two nations’ determination to build on the successful history of security cooperation and to work hand-in-hand to secure peace and prosperity for future generations.


                     The U.S.-Taiwan security relationship is equally strong.  The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 has mandated U.S. arms sales for Taiwan’s self-defense capability as well as the U.S. to resist “any resort to force or other forms of coercion” against the people of Taiwan.  The U.S. commitment to Taiwan’s security is strong, as President Bush recently confirmed when he stated the U.S. would do “whatever it takes to help Taiwan defend itself.”


                     We are brought together today by our common values of democracy and the respect for human rights.  We seek peace and prosperity in this region; a region in which disputes are solved peacefully according to the rule of law.  Economically, we seek free markets in which capital, resources and information can move freely, creating new jobs and economic opportunity for all.


                     We have accomplished much together, but have even more to do.  Today we are faced with:

                           severe economic recession in Japan;

                           increased tensions in the Taiwan Strait;

                           the increased proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the missiles that can deliver them;

                          and the prospect of a nuclear-armed North Korea—to name just a few. 


                     As we explore ways today to strengthen the region’s security and prosperity, a good starting point might be to reiterate our three countries’ shared vision for the future of this region as a stable, democratic, prosperous and free Asia-Pacific.


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