Representative Shelley Berkley
on Asian-Pacific Security
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
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
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.