For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 25, 2001
Remarks by President Bush
And Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan
in Photo Opportunity
11:45 A.M. EDT
PRESIDENT BUSH: I am really
pleased and honored that my personal friend, and a friend of the United
States, has come all the way from Japan to express his solidarity with
the American people and our joint battle against terrorism.
The Prime Minister and I had a
wide-ranging discussion about ways that we can cooperate with each
other to fight global terrorism. Most notably, we talked
about the need to work in a way to cut off their
funding. The Prime Minister also talked about ways that
Japan will share intelligence, that we'll work cooperatively on the
diplomatic front. We had a great discussion.
Not only am I pleased with the great
cooperation that we're having with our friend, the Japanese; I am most
pleased that the Saudi Arabians yesterday cut off relations with the
Taliban, and that President Putin, in a strong statement to the world,
talked about the cooperation that Russia and the United States will
have in combatting global terrorism as well.
The coalition of legitimate governments
and freedom-loving people is strong. People will contribute
in different ways to this coalition. But the mission won't
change. The duties of the coalition may alter, but the
mission won't alter. And that is to rout out and destroy
The Prime Minister understands this
requires a long-term vision, requires a patience amongst both our
people. And it also requires a determination and a strong
will. I know he's got a determination and strong will, and
he knows I am determined and willful in this struggle.
Mr. Prime Minister.
PRIME MINISTER KOIZUMI: I'm
very pleased to say, we are friends. Had a great talk,
friendly. And I convey what I am thinking. We
Japanese are ready to stand by the United States to fight
terrorism. We could make sure of this global
objective. We must fight terrorism with a determination and
a patience. Very good meeting. Fantastic
PRESIDENT BUSH: I'll take a few
Q Mr. President, on
the domestic front, sir, why not extend unemployment and health
insurance benefits to airline workers? And what do you think
of the proposals to put reservists and military police on airplanes,
and to allow pilots to carry guns?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, we're
looking at all options -- this doesn't require translation, by the way
-- we're looking at all options as to how to enhance airline
security. I had a breakfast this morning with leaders of the
Senate and the House. This was one of the topics we
discussed. Secretary of Transportation Mineta is coming over this
afternoon to present me with some of the options. And I look
forward to working with Congress to put some concrete steps in place
that will assure the American public that the government and the
airlines are doing as much as we can to enhance security and safety.
In terms of the labor issues, Elaine Chao
is developing a list of recommendations, a list of options, to make
sure that the displaced worker is given due consideration in the halls
of government. That subject came up as
well. There is no consensus yet. There is a
desire to work toward taking care of displaced workers. And
both the Congress and the White House will be presenting options.
Q Mr. President,
you mentioned Saudi Arabia. What does this mean in terms of
isolating the Taliban? And would you now encourage Pakistan
to do the same?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, we've
gotten broad cooperation from Pakistan. We're most pleased with their
response. They are a country that has -- going to be,
obviously, deeply affected by actions we may or may not take in that
part of the world.
It's very interesting that the Prime
Minister shared with me the fact that his country has provided $40
million in humanitarian assistance to the Pakistanis, and I want to
thank him for that. We, too, are providing humanitarian
assistance for people in that world, as are the Saudis. And
that's an important part of the coalition, to understand that one of
the issues is to make sure that Pakistan is a stable country, and that
whatever consequences may occur as a result of acts that we may or may
not take is one that we do the best we can to manage.
In terms of --
Q Isolation of the
PRESIDENT BUSH: Oh, isolating
the Taliban? Well, I think most people in the world
understand that I was very serious, and they're serious, when we say if
you harbor a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorist. That's
pretty isolated, it seems like to me.
Q Mr. President,
according to opinion poll, about 90 percent of the Japanese are
concerned that Japan support of the U.S. military action could trigger
terrorist attacks on Japan, itself. Do you have anything to
say to them to, to their concern?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I think
this: I think 100 percent of the Japanese people ought to
understand that we're dealing with evil people who hate freedom and
legitimate governments, and that now is the time for freedom-loving
people to come together to fight terrorist activity. We
cannot be -- we cannot fear terrorists. We can't let
terrorism dictate our course of action. And we will not let
a terrorist dictate the course of action in the United States; and I'm
sure the Prime Minister feels the same way about Japan.
No threat, no threat will prevent
freedom-loving people from defending freedom. And make no
mistake about it: This is good versus evil. These
are evildoers. They have no justification for their
actions. There's no religious justification, there's no
political justification. The only motivation is
evil. And the Prime Minister understands that, and the
Japanese people, I think, understand that as well.
Q Mr. President,
amid signs of increasing turmoil in Afghanistan and signs that there
may be splits within the Taliban regime itself, do you believe that the
people of Afghanistan, themselves, are trying to liberate themselves
from the Taliban rule, and would you support that as part of your
campaign against terrorism?
PRESIDENT BUSH: We have no
issue and no anger toward the citizens of Afghanistan. We
have obviously serious problems with the Taliban
government. They're an incredibly repressive government, a
government that has a value system that's hard for many in America, or
in Japan, for that matter, to relate to. Incredibly
repressive toward women.
They have made the decision to harbor
terrorists. The mission is to rout terrorists, to find them
and bring them to justice. Or, as I explained to the Prime
Minister in Western terms, to smoke them out of their caves, to get
them running so we can get them.
The best way to do that, and one way to do
that is to ask for the cooperation of citizens within Afghanistan who
may be tired of having the Taliban in place, or tired of having Osama
bin Laden, people from foreign soils, in their own land, willing to
finance this repressive government.
I understand the reality of what's taking
place inside Afghanistan, and we're going to have a -- listen, as I've
told the Prime Minister, we're angry, but we've got a clear
vision. We're upset, but we know what we've got to
do. And the mission is to bring these particular terrorists
to justice, and at the same time, send a clear signal, Terry, that says
if you harbor a terrorist, if you aid a terrorist, if you hide
terrorists, you're just as guilty as the terrorists.
And this is an administration -- we're not
into nation-building, we're focused on justice. And we're
going to get justice. It's going to take a while,
probably. But I'm a patient man. Nothing will
diminish my will and my determination -- nothing.
Q Mr. President, do
you expect any financial support also from Japan, including --
PRESIDENT BUSH: Financial
PRESIDENT BUSH: You mean,
related to our --
Q For the entire
mission against terrorism.
PRESIDENT BUSH: For our --
well, first of all, the Prime Minister, as he said, talked about $40
million of aid to Pakistan. That's a very important
contribution. And I repeat the reason why: a
stable Pakistan is very important to a stable world. After
all, Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and we want stability in countries
that may have nuclear weapons. And so that's a very
important financial contribution.
Remember, this war will be fought on a
variety of fronts. It is not like wars that we're used
to. There's very little that's conventional about
it. It's different. And so, for example, the
sharing of information is vital to find and rout out
terrorism. It's vital that we have a cooperative
relationship. It's vital that if we hear anything that may
affect the security of Japan, that we're forthcoming with that
information. And vice-versa.
And so the resources -- again, you -- the
tendency is to think in terms of a conventional war, where people might
put money in to support a military operation. That's not the
kind of war we're talking about now. And so resources will be deployed
in different ways -- intelligence-gathering, diplomacy, humanitarian
aid, as well as cutting off resources. And one effective
tool in getting these people is to cut off their money. And
yesterday I made an announcement here about how we intend to do so.
PRIME MINISTER KOIZUMI: I
believe there are many ways to cooperate. It is one way to provide
financial assistance, but there are diplomatic means, there are ways to
provide medical assistance, there is assistance to refugees, there is
ways to transport supplies. And I believe these are all
various ways in which we can cooperate.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you all