The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 18, 2006

President Bush Meets with Prime Minister Abe of Japan
The Sheraton Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam

President's Remarks

      APEC 2006

12:47 P.M. (Local)

PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much for your time. We just had a very frank and full discussion. I admire the Prime Minister's intellect, I'm very comfortable with his style, and I'm very confident we'll be able to work together for the common good.

The relationship between Japan and the United States is strong and we will keep it that way. And a strong relationship between our two countries is good for the security of the East. We talked a lot of issues. And we spent time talking about North Korea and our common commitment to see that the six-party talks succeed. We spent a lot of time talking about bilateral issues. And one of the most interesting issues we discussed was our common desire to continue to cooperate on ballistic missile defense.

I told the Prime Minister he needs to get over to the United States quickly. I'm looking forward to hosting him. And thank you for your time.

PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As translated.) I was able to spend a very meaningful and wonderful time with the President today. So thank you very much, Mr. President.

Japan and U.S. share an alliance which is based on fundamental values, such as freedom, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law. And we agreed with each other that strengthening our alliance would be a good in maintaining peace and security of not just Japan and the region surrounding Japan, but the entire world.

Also concerning North Korea, as the President mentioned, we agreed that we would take a coordinated approach to reach a final resolution of the issue, and also to achieve some concrete results at an early stage. We also agreed to strengthen and accelerate our cooperation concerning ballistic missile defense, and we will instruct our foreign ministers and defense ministers to conduct consideration concerning this matter.

We are faced with many difficult issues, like North Korea, the fight against terror, and also Iraq. But we agreed that we will be utilizing the alliance we have between Japan and the United States for the good of the world and the region (inaudible).

I'm looking forward to visiting the United States sometime next year and seeing the President. Thank you.

END 12:52 P.M. (Local)

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