State Dept. Interview With Aiko Doden of NHK TV
Interview With Aiko Doden of NHK TV
March 19, 2005
MS. DODEN: Dr. Rice, political pressure is now mounting in Japan regarding -- political pressure is now mounting in the Congress in the U.S. regarding Japan's import ban on U.S. beef, to the extent that there are even talks of retaliatory sanctions towards Japan. Would President Bush be in favor of such initiatives, do you think?
SECRETARY RICE: We fundamentally believe that as friends we can resolve this issue. But it needs to be resolved now. This has gone on for quite a long time. There is a science-based standard that is global. American beef is safe. America cares about the safety of its beef, about the safety of the American people, about the safety of those to whom we export, like the Japanese people. And so it is my hope that this can be resolved very, very soon.
MS. DODEN: But the fact that there are even talks about taking sanctions, would such an initiative be productive, do you think? I mean, it does remind one of what had happened in the 1980s.
SECRETARY RICE: No, I think you're right, it does remind us of that period. But I would hope that we have come a long way since that period, that there is a new respect for openness of markets, that there is an understanding of how completely intertwined our economies are. And this particular dispute has just gone on for a very long time, and we are counting on those who are responsible to make this change as quickly as possible, so that American beef can be exported. And I will continue to talk with this about my -- with my Japanese colleagues, but it is something that needs to be resolved.
MS. DODEN: Considering Japan's role in the global arena, Japan has its Self-Defense Force now in Iraq. Do you see the role evolving, going through an evolution, in terms of meeting the demands and needs of the international community?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, first let me say that Japan's Self-Defense Forces have served really very, very well in Iraq in support of humanitarian goals in Iraq, in support of the Iraqi people's desire for democracy and freedom. And it's very much appreciated, that role. And there will be an evolution because, increasingly, Iraqis are being trained, their security forces, their police forces, and they will take on more and more of these roles. But for now, they need the help of the multinational forces which, after all, are there under U.N. mandate, and Japan has served very admirably as a part of that coalition.
MS. DODEN: Japan does have constitutional restraints in terms of sending its military force abroad. But, at the same time, on the other hand, Japan has been expressing its desire to become a permanent member to the United Nations Security Council. What role does the U.S. seek for Japan to play?
SECRETARY RICE: One of the elements of my discussions here is to talk about how -- what was once just a regional alliance between Japan and the United States has now really become a global alliance, Japan in Afghanistan, in Iraq helping out. Also, the work that we've done together for development assistance around the world. Japan and the United States together constitute almost 40 percent of the development assistance to the world. Japan is a tremendously important contributor to the United Nations.
So the United States believes that Japan, indeed, should have a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, because Japan is carrying and shouldering the burdens of global responsibility, and that needs to be recognized in its international institutions.
MS. DODEN: And its participation does not need to be military?
SECRETARY RICE: No, much of what we must do around the world is actually not military in nature. Even with security forces, it's very often the training of civil forces, the training of police forces, or the protection of humanitarian efforts. Much has to be done in capacity building for ministries in places like Iraq. Much has to be done in building schools and in building clinics.
When these countries come out of the turmoil that a place like Iraq or Afghanistan have come out of, they need the full range of help. And Japan has been a compassionate country, it has been a country that has been there when people have needed it in terms of humanitarian disaster, like the tsunami. That is as important a part of global responsibility as taking on military burdens.
MS. DODEN: Going on to DPRK and the Korean Peninsula, the Six Party Talks, there have been like three rounds of talks and the last one had been held of June last year, failing to produce much results. People are saying the process is too slow and in the meantime DPRK has managed to accumulate more nuclear weapons. When would the U.S. actually determine that the process is not working?
SECRETARY RICE: It is by far the best process that we can design to deal with the North Korean nuclear program. And so we need to make this process work. But making the process work requires first that each and every one of us who's involved, Japan, the United States, but especially China must make very clear to the North Koreans that this is the only way that they are going to receive respect or assistance, both of which they desire, but this is the only way, if they give up their nuclear weapons programs, if they make the strategic choice. And North Korea needs to recognize that there is no other way.The North Koreans have been presented with a path toward better relations with the rest of the world and they should take that path.
MS. DODEN: The DPRK stresses that it will not take part in the talks unless the U.S. abandons its hostile policy, while the U.S. repeatedly says that it will neither invade nor attack North Korea. But wordings like referring to DPRK as outpost of tyranny, isn't that a little bit counter-productive in a way that it would only give excuse to DPRK not to attend the talks?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, the North Koreans are doing nothing but making excuses. This is simply a way to change the conversation, change the discussion, because the North Koreans don't want to deal with the essential problem, which is that their neighbors and the rest of the world do not want them to have nuclear weapons. And we should not allow the North Koreans to drag us into a discussion about rhetoric or about semantics. We should say to the North Koreans, everyone understands the nature of the North Korean regime. Now, let's get on about the work of ending the North Korean nuclear program, which is really the point.
MS. DODEN: Do you see the solidarity still intact among the five members?
SECRETARY RICE: I believe that the five members have done very well in maintaining their focus on a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula because it would be a danger to each and every one of us. It is not just a problem for the United States. Sometimes, the North Koreans would like to pose this as just a problem between the United States and North Korea. But they are getting a very clear message from all of the parties to the Six Party Talks that this is an issue for everyone.
MS. DODEN: I see. Well, you've touched upon China. How does the U.S. seek to establish relations with China, when a state can be a potential threat but at the same time a viable trade and investment partner?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, China is a new factor in international politics and in regional politics, because it's a big and growing and vibrant economy. And China will be an influence, either for good or for bad. And it's up to us, the United States, but also Japan and others, to encourage China toward a positive influence, a positive development in international politics. And that can be done through making certain that China's economy is embedded in a rules-based international system, like the World Trade Organization, working with China on the problems for nuclear nonproliferation, the problems of the DPRK's nuclear weapons. But we can also recognize that we have our differences with China about human rights, about religious freedom, over Taiwan. And we can work on those issues in an atmosphere of respect and trying to solve problems.
MS. DODEN: Is the U.S. at the stage -- at the phase of trying to pace itself, vis-à-vis China with China's anti-secession law and also with regards to the human rights record?
SECRETARY RICE: Yes, well on human rights, we've been very clear with China that a modern society, if it is to completely have the creativity of the full people, has to be an open society and a society that respects human rights. You really can't tell people that they should only think at work and be creative at work but when they go home, they have no political rights. And so we do make that point with China.
As to Taiwan and China's anti-secession law, neither Taiwan nor China is going to be able to resolve the cross-Strait problem on its own. And so unilateral measures that only increase tensions rather than reducing them are simply not helpful.
MS. DODEN: Those values that the U.S. promotes, I'm talking about the U.S. image which had been regarded as a beacon for freedom and democracy, which was -- which were perhaps tarnished at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, how does the U.S. seek to restore its image? People do have to wonder what U.S. means by values like democracy and --
SECRETARY RICE: Well, the United States is a great multiethnic democracy and it shares values with other great democracies like Japan. When something like Abu Ghraib happens, of course it is a stain on the -- not just the image of the United States. We all felt very deeply -- a very deep sorrow about the kinds of things that happened in Abu Ghraib. But in a democracy, we are open and transparent about what happened at a place like Abu Ghraib, and people are punished for what happened at a place like Abu Ghraib.
Democracy does not mean that bad things will not happen. Democracy does not mean that people will fail to live up to their responsibilities. But it does mean that when people do bad things or when they fail to live up to their responsibilities, that they will be held accountable for failing to do so, and that's really the lesson of democracy.
MS. DODEN: And that's what you mean by now is the time for diplomacy?
SECRETARY RICE: I mean that -- now is the time for diplomacy. We have had -- out of September 11th, we've fought two wars. We've been fighting the war on terrorism. But it is now diplomacy that will help us to create a permanent peace and a balance of power that favors freedom. And in order to do that, we are completely bonded and need the support and the strength of our great democratic allies like Japan.
MS. DODEN: Well, thank you very much, Dr. Rice.
SECRETARY RICE: Thank you.
Released on March 19, 2005