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Condoleezza Rice Remarks at Sophia University

Remarks at Sophia University

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Tokyo, Japan
March 19, 2005

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much. I would like to thank you, Father Currie, for having me here, and especially to Miss Watanabe. I was talking with Miss Watanabe and I understand that she spent a year studying at Berkley, which, of course, is across the bay from Stanford. (Laughter.) We have quite a rivalry with Berkley. (Laughter.) So, I hope the next time you go to the States, Miss Watanabe, you'll study at Stanford. (Laughter.)

I am honored to be here at Sophia University, this great beacon of learning, this living example of the strong partnership between America and Japan. I want to thank the university's leaders and trustees and faculty and students for the hospitality that you are showing me here, and for the privilege of joining you today.

I have actually visited Japan many times. But my favorite visit was in 1986 when I taught for three weeks at the National Defense Academy in Yokosuka -- which you know is the home of Prime Minister Koizumi, and we've had a chance to talk about that on a number of occasions. And I am quite certain that many of the wonderful and dedicated cadets that I met during that time that I was teaching are now serving Japan and the world well in the spread of peace and liberty, and I look forward one day to returning to Yokosuka, which was a wonderful home-away-from-home for that three weeks.

I return to Japan at a time of great promise and renewal for this unique partnership. We have achieved a lot together, and we will achieve much more in the future. So I look forward to my meetings today with Prime Minister Koizumi and with Foreign Minister Machimura, and with others.

Now, as I know you know, I've been advertised as an academic and you know that academics can do one of two things. They can go on and on and on about something you never wanted to hear -- (laughter) -- or they can engage in free and open dialogue. I want to do the second of those -- (laughter) so, I will try to keep my remarks brief. I can think of no better place for honest, intellectual engagement than here at Sophia University.

Let me begin our conversation today with an observation about the reasons for the success of the U.S.-Japanese partnership, and for the success of East Asia as a whole.

Japan's success during the past half century -- rising from the ashes of a terrible war to global prosperity, responsibility, and status -- has been historic and it's been inspiring. Japan's accomplishments have been transformational, and not just for Japan. Japan has set the example for political and economic progress in all of East Asia, helping to anchor the successes of the Republic of Korea and Malaysia, of Thailand and the Philippines, of Indonesia, of East Timor and of Mongolia. Japan has truly led the way.

The United States is proud to have played a role not only in Japan's success, but in East Asia's success, as well. We have sheltered and encouraged East Asia's progress with our military presence, our economic openness, and our encouragement and support of Asia's many pioneers in freedom.

We have achieved much because we have built on each other's successes. We have been open to new partnerships, to new projects, to new ideas, and to new horizons. And above all, we have joined together as a Pacific community, turning a great ocean into a bridge, not a barrier, between nations.

America is a Pacific nation, and we all thrive when we work together. Because we have built our Pacific community, East Asia -- and all of Asia -- is today not a mere object of positive global trends, but a passive beneficiary -- and not a passive beneficiary of successes born elsewhere, but a vital shaper of those positive trends.

I have come to Asia early in my role as Secretary of State because I believe that we have a unique opportunity to advance global trends toward peace, prosperity and democracy. Our path ahead is clear. We must provide greater security for all our people. We must provide greater opportunity for all the people of the world. And we must continue to work for greater freedom throughout the Pacific region and the world.

These three goals -- security, opportunity and freedom -- are linked. We know that security shelters the prosperity that opportunity brings. Security and prosperity, in turn, allow human creativity to flourish -- but human creativity can only flourish fully in freedom.

Let us begin with the issue of security. Pacific security today is a success story. There has not been a single major conflict in Asia for more than three decades. And our work together in the U.S.-Japan alliance has moved forward on many fronts.

Japan, which has played a key regional security role for many years, has now become a key partner in the global war on terror and in the Middle East and the search for reform and peace in that troubled region. On both the regional and global levels, the U.S.-Japanese alliance is modernizing, most recently through our agreement on Common Strategic Objectives.

The people of Japan have also provided generous humanitarian aid to Iraq, and made key contributions to the success of Iraq's elections. And Japan has deployed the courageous Japanese Self-Defense Forces to Samawah.

Japan has played a vital role, too, in the successful elections in Afghanistan, in the building of the Kandahar-to-Herat road, and has helped Afghans develop alternatives to poppy cultivation. Later today, I will have the chance to personally thank members of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces who have done such a magnificent job in Iraq and in the tsunami relief effort.

In sum, Japan has stepped up to wider global responsibilities. We welcome this. Japanese leadership in advancing freedom is good for the Pacific community, and it is good for the world.

So too, our ally the Republic of Korea is an essential partner for security and well-being in the region, and is also becoming a global partner. The Republic of Korea has deployed a significant number of troops to Iraq, and has taken command responsibility for a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan.

When the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea stand together in support of peace and security, and promote our common values, Asia and the world become better, and safer.

Today Australia also stands side by side with America, as it has for over a century. Wherever free men and women take a stand for decency and democracy, Australians are there. We are deeply grateful, too, for our alliances with the Philippines and Thailand, and for our growing cooperation with Singapore.

And I have just come from India. There, on behalf of President Bush, I offered a vision for a decisively broader strategic relationship, to help India achieve its goals as one of the world's great multiethnic democracies. This vision embraces cooperation on a global strategy for peace, on defense, on energy, and on economic growth.

Our Asia Pacific community has accomplished a great deal -- but challenges to our collective security and the security of Asia remain. Above all, the scourge of terrorism requires a resolute commitment from every nation. Asia has seen the dark face of terrorism, from the bombings in Bali and Jakarta, the kidnappings in the Philippines, and of course, the attack by terrorists on a Tokyo subway just a few years ago.

Every Asian nation, from Pakistan to Japan, understands our common interest in assuring a world free of terrorism, and virtually every Asian nation, too, has been willing to do its part to bring such a world into being.

Our security is jeopardized, too, by North Korea's nuclear weapons ambitions. The Six-Party Talks offer the best framework for dealing with this problem. This is where the North Korean government can find the respect it desires and acquire the assistance it needs, if it is willing to make a strategic choice.

No one denies that North Korea is a sovereign state. We have said repeatedly that we have no intention of attacking or invading North Korea. With others in the Six-Party Talks, we are prepared to offer multilateral security assurances to North Korea in the context of ending its nuclear program. We have offered to examine North Korea's energy needs. North Korea knows all of this.

But the United States and other democratic societies will not be silent about the plight of the North Korean people, about the nature of the North Korean regime, about that regime's abduction of innocent civilians of peaceful neighboring countries, and about the threat that a nuclear-armed North Korea poses to the entire region.

Let me put it plainly: North Korea should return to the Six-Party Talks immediately, if it is serious about exploring the path forward that we and the other parties have proposed.

China has, to be sure, played an important role in the Six-Party talks. President Bush and President Hu Jintao have agreed that the existence of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula is unacceptable. We have made diplomatic common cause in pursuit of this objective. But North Korea has rejected the call of its neighbors, and in the face of that rejection, all parties must magnify their efforts to convince North Korea that the time has come for a strategic decision.

China has a particularly important opportunity and responsibility here, and I will soon be discussing with Beijing how the United States and China can advance our common interests on this, as well as on other issues.

We welcome China's support for the democratic government of Afghanistan. We appreciate China's efforts to ensure stability in South Asia, and its support in the global war on terrorism -- including joining our Container Security Initiative. And we look forward to working with China on other issues, to see if we can forge a common approach to the challenges of Sudan and Burma and Nepal.

So clearly, America has reason to welcome the rise of a confident, peaceful and prosperous China. We want China as a global partner, able and willing to match its growing capabilities to its international responsibilities.

There are of course issues that complicate our cooperation with China, particularly Taiwan. Our one-China policy is clear and unchanged. We oppose unilateral changes to the status quo, whether by word or deed by either party. Both sides must recognize that neither can solve this problem alone. We urge both sides to continue to expand recent steps toward a more productive relationship. And in the interests of peace and stability we stand by our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act.

In our Pacific community, we can assure basic security, we can reach out to achieve our other goals, of greater opportunity and greater freedom.

We can do this because we know what works: economic openness, political openness, and our commitment to global standards that reinforce that openness work. Economic openness supports the aspirations of our people, and their prosperity and redoubles their devotion to political openness and to freedom. Ultimately, a society's material well-being cannot be separated from its political virtue.

Our Pacific prosperity relies on trust and a growing understanding of economic best practices. From time to time, however, trade disputes do arise among us. The latest, of course, is about Japanese imports of American beef products.

The time has come to solve this problem. I want to assure you: American beef is safe, and we care deeply about the safety of food for the people of the world, for the American people, for the Japanese people. There is a global standard on the science that is involved here, and we must not let exceptionalism put at risk our ability to invest and trade our way to even greater shared prosperity.

Let me assure you: America remains fully committed to our joint agenda for economic growth. We actively seek greater trade across the Pacific though complementary bilateral, regional and global efforts.

The members of the Pacific community are also pioneering partners in science and technology: the keys to economic dynamism and development. We are on the cutting edge of new technologies that are transforming the global economy, from nano- and bio-technology, to robotics, to promising energy-related research and development projects.

But while innovation will push our economies forward, a lack of fairness will hold us back. American businesses lose $200 to $250 billion a year to pirated and counterfeit goods. Innovation stimulates economic growth, but innovation will suffer without proper protection for intellectual property rights. Japan and the United States have an effective record of cooperation on IPR -- it is a record of cooperation which I commend to all Asian states as a model to be emulated.

At the same time, truly sustainable prosperity in our 21st century will be impossible unless we act against the growing threat of pandemic diseases. No one has to explain such dangers to the people of Asia. The SARS epidemic, the growing menace of avian flu, the spread of HIV/AIDS and drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis threaten us all. We must work harder than ever to monitor and track major threats to public health on a worldwide basis, and to put an end to them. The Pacific world must be a key pillar in this effort.

And of course, we must also improve our ability to respond effectively to our neighbors in need. That, too, is a part of the infrastructure of Pacific prosperity and peace.

America has always answered the call when Asians have needed our help, as we did most recently after the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean. But it was not just America that answered the call this time. It was the United States and Japan, together with Australia and India, that rapidly formed the Core Group to mobilize life-saving logistical operations, and to jump start international relief efforts.

In the face of that unprecedented tragedy, the Pacific community of democracies responded together with unprecedented creativity and generosity -- and not just our governments, but our people, too. And Japan is still leading the way in that effort, recently hosting an important UN conference to advance the construction of an effective tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean basin.

The United States and Japan can do more together. Our alliance is not just about security and stability. It is an alliance of compassion.

We support human development focused on economic opportunity and in partnership with governments willing to accept their share of responsibility. Our two countries provide about 40 percent of all government assistance to developing countries throughout the world.

So, today I propose a Strategic Development Alliance for our two countries to sit down and regularly, systematically focus our efforts to advance these common objectives in countries where we are already working side by side across the globe, in places like Africa, for instance. We should also welcome the participation of others who can usefully contribute to this work.

All of our joint work is animated by the common devotion of our two countries, the compassion and the dignity that come from a commitment to freedom. President Bush has defined the mission of American foreign policy as working with other nations to create a balance of power that favors freedom. We know that in this effort, we have stalwart partners in Asia because Asia's dominant political narrative over the past five decades has been one of free minds and free markets on the rise.

The countries of Asia have proved once and for all that freedom is a truly universal quality of the human spirit. Their freedoms were achieved on the cultural terms of Asian societies, from their own deep wells of philosophical and moral conviction.

But consider this: Democracy has emerged in predominantly Buddhist Thailand, in predominantly Muslim Indonesia, and in predominantly Catholic Philippines. Democracies operate in constitutional monarchies such as Japan, and in former communist states like Mongolia. Democracy thrives in ethnically homogeneous societies like South Korea, and it exists in ethnically diverse countries such as Malaysia. So there is no reason that it cannot continue to spread in this region, particularly to Burma.

Clearly, nonetheless, we face many challenges in building a freer region, and a freer world.

Many of Asia's democracies are still young, and some are fragile. The older, more institutionalized democracies of the Pacific have a vital interest in helping new democracies to consolidate their successes.

Yet the ultimate direction of contemporary trends is clear. Openness is the vanguard of success. Time and again we have seen that economic and political openness cannot long be separated. Even China must eventually embrace some form of open, genuinely representative government if it is to reap the benefits and meet the challenges of a globalizing world.

That is why we believe that when China's leaders confront the need to align their political institutions with their increased economic openness, they will look around them in Asia and they will see that freedom works. They will see that democracy works. They will see that freedom of religion and respect for human rights are part of the foundation of decent and successful societies.

That is why raw power will not define Asia in the 21st century, as it has done in centuries past. Instead, ideas -- ideas of freedom -- will define 21st century Asia.

The future of Asia and the Pacific community will be defined around two great themes -- openness and choice. Instead of closed societies or economies, instead of spheres of influence, we stand for an open world. Instead of an exclusive club of powers, we stand for a community open to all.

But states must choose. They must choose whether to be a part of that community of openness, accepting the responsibilities that go with it.

The United States and Japan have already made that choice, and we are honored to have a democratic Japan as a friend. Japan has earned its honorable place among the nations of the world by its own effort and by its own character. That is why the United States unambiguously supports a permanent seat for Japan on the United Nations Security Council.

President Bush often talks about how he feels when he sits across the table from Prime Minister Koizumi. I have heard him tell the story from Des Moines, Iowa, to Miami, Florida, to Portland, Oregon, and across the United States during the campaign. He talks of the difficult choices and sacrifices that were made after World War II, so that Japan could emerge not just strong and stable, but democratic and free. He talks about what it means to now sit across from not just an ally, but a democratic ally in Japan. He talks about the strength that he gains from working with a democratic leader like the Prime Minister and the people of Japan to solve the world's continuing problems, whether on the North Korean peninsula or in Iraq or in Afghanistan, or fighting disease and poverty. And he talks about the inspiration that he draws from it.

Because one day, an American President and a Japanese Prime Minister will sit across from democratic allies in Iraq and Afghanistan and Palestine. And they, too, will chart a better future for our children and for the children of the world. They will do so on the basis of democratic values and they will do so because there is no stronger friendship than that that is born of a common commitment to democratic values, to liberty and to freedom. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Promised to answer questions and then I was about to leave. So let me answer questions. Yes, yes, ma'am, right here, on the front row.

QUESTION: Dr. Secretary Rice, thank you very much for giving me the floor. My name is Tashiri Yamomoto and I am a third-year student at Sophia. My question is as follows: I think that the strategic role of U.S. forces in Japan has changed very much, as it has been already 15 years since the end of the Cold War. Considering the present situation in Asia and the Middle East, what are the reasons for -- what are the reasons for maintaining a very large number of U.S. forces in Okinawa?

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much. The question is about U.S. forces in Okinawa, and we're 15 years after the end of the Cold War. And I would make the point that, first of all, the American presence in Japan remains a presence that is devoted to the making of the peace and stability in the region as a whole, and it is the umbrella under which Asia continues its transition and its changes.

Asia is a region that is still very dynamic, both in terms of the internal developments in countries like China and in terms of the internal developments of countries in Southeast Asia. And, of course, the rise of China is one of the truly new factors in international politics. And so, I think we want to maintain this stabilizing relationship between Japan and the United States on the security front, so that this can all take place in peace.

It is a relationship that is, by the way, changing. We have defense realignment discussions that are going on. We are more than willing to talk about how we change that presence to be more acceptable to the current circumstances in which we find ourselves in Japan and for the Japanese people, and we are also, of course, very gratified by the fact that the U.S.-Japanese alliance, the broad alliance -- not just the military alliance; the broad alliance -- has provided an impetus for Japan to take on a global role in the humanitarian operations that the Self-Defense Forces are carrying on, for instance, in Iraq.

So, this is an alliance that, of course, needs to be updated. I just recently engaged in talks with the Foreign and Defense Ministers of Japan and my counterpart, Secretary Rumsfeld, in Washington just less than a month ago, where we talked about common strategic objectives moving forward, where we talked about modernizing our alliance. It is now an old defense alliance, but it is one that I think has a very bright future.

Okay, I'm going to take two over here and then two over there. Here, right here.

QUESTION: Thank you very much for your wonderful statement. I was really inspired. Thank you very much. My name is Hiraki Oskuma (phonetic) from Sophia University, the Faculty of Comparative Culture. So, here is the question: frankly speaking, the relationship between Japan and neighboring countries seems that it is not really good. And it's quite different from the relationship of the North American countries and/or European countries. So, here's the question: If you were the Prime Minister of Japan -- (laughter) -- how would you solve the problem? (Laughter and applause.)

SECRETARY RICE: Well, my goodness. I'm going to see him; I'll have to think about that before I see him. (Laughter.)

Let me just say, we know that there are some difficulties between Japan and its neighbors. I'm aware that there are issues that need to be resolved with South Korea that have become quite -- recently quite topical. I myself was a longtime specialist on the Soviet Union and then Russia. I know that there are issues still to be resolved with Russia about the territories. And, by the way, let me say that they should be resolved with Russia. And the United States has long supported that resolution. I know that there are issues with China.

It speaks a bit to my answer to the first question. Asia is a region in which you still do have, coming out of both World War II but also the history going back into the 19th century, still unresolved security disputes, border disputes which, as Asia I think strengthens its economic integration and its political contact as a region, some of these will be easier to resolve. But one point and one place for the American presence is to provide a stable atmosphere in which some of that resolution can take place.

Now, Europe has also had very strong institutions over time. The European Union is a union of democracies that has helped to overcome some of the differences that were longstanding there. NATO is an alliance that has helped democracies overcome their differences.

I by no means would suggest that anything like that is going to emerge in Asia. But what the lesson of that is, is that as states begin to relate to one another positively on a full agenda, then longstanding 19th century and early 20th century border disputes start to lose some of their importance and some of their salience.

It is part of what I meant when I said in the speech that the 21st century is not going to be about raw power. It's not really any longer about whose resources can you control or can you dominate your neighbor. It is really now about the power of ideas and openness and economic openness and political openness, which I think can overcome a lot of these differences. So, Asia needs to continue to move in this direction. I do think, too, that the forward movement of democracy and openness as the core value will help to overcome some of these differences in ways that great power relations never will.

Let's see, right here, in the red suit. Right there. Yes.

QUESTION: Dr. Rice, Secretary Rice, thank you for -- thank you very much for giving me the floor. My name is Kayo Saito (phonetic). I am a third-year student in -- and my major is political science and political -- excuse me -- science.

My question is as follows. Actually, I am interested in relation to religion and politics, and how can you think our religion take role to promote democracy and to freedom and security, even -- and to construct a stable peace in -- after conflict like in Iraq. I'd like to know about that, so please -- thank you very much.

SECRETARY RICE: Yes, a very good question about the role of religion and how it relates to politics and democratic enterprise, and therefore peace.

I would say a couple of things about this. First of all, when you think about the universal values that really form the core of what it means to have democracy and freedom, we sometimes talk too much about whether it's going to be a bicameral legislature or a parliamentary system or a presidential system, when, really, the essence of democracy is that people are able to say what they think, they are able to worship as they please, and they are able to educate their children, boys and girls. And it's very interesting. If you talk to the most literate person or the most illiterate person, they understand those basics about democracy.

The right to worship as you please is a right to worship or not to worship, so that in the United States there are people who are deeply religious. I consider myself deeply religious. But as an American official, a part of my responsibility, both to my own country and in helping with others, is to recognize that it is freedom of religious conscience, freedom of religious conviction that is really the core value of democracy.

In places where religion has been used to separate people -- places like Lebanon or places like Iraq -- it is especially important that the democratic structures, the constitution recognize that the right to individual conscience is the key to democracy. Because people will never be truly free if this most personal of decisions is imposed upon them.

In the United States, we also separate church and state. But not every democracy separates church and state. There is an official church in Britain. So there are many ways to deal with this issue. But the real key is that people have to be able to choose this most personal of commitments. They have to be able to choose to worship in any way that they wish or they have to be willing -- they have to be able to choose not to worship in any way that they wish.

And I -- when I go to China, I will talk about religious freedom. Because religious freedom, which doesn't mean that you use religion as a weapon against others, is very often a basis for compassion and decency in a society. And so, it's a very deep question that you have asked, but I think it is essential to the proper functioning of democracy.

QUESTION: (in Japanese) I am so grateful to have been able to hear Secretary Rice speak directly. I am also honored.

Regarding North Korea and nuclear weapons and that threat, in future the Six-Party Talks ought to be used to search for a solution, is what you just told us, Madam Secretary. Now, if a year, two, or three years go by and it can't be resolved, then the U.S. with respect to North Korea might negotiate directly. With respect to this method, I wonder if that exists in your heart or in your mind at all, Madam Secretary?

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. We tried direct negotiations with North Korea once before. In 1994, we had the Agreed Framework. And North Korea was pursuing a nuclear weapon outside of the Agreed Framework. And I think we learned a lesson from that. And at the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. I don't mean to try and go back and challenge the history here.

But we learned a lesson, and that is when North Korea can separate its neighbors and have a dialogue with China about its nuclear program and a dialogue with Japan about its nuclear program and a dialogue with the United States about it, then it can play one off against the other and it doesn't have to answer the central question, "when are you going to get rid of your nuclear weapons programs? No one will accept you fully into the international system until you do."

Now we have in the Six-Party Talks, and I understand that people think that it sometimes is moving slowly. We would like it to move more quickly. We would like North Korea to be at the table today. But what we have going for us in the Six Party-Talks is that all of North Korea's neighbors are saying the same thing to North Korea in the same forum with the same requirement, the same demand of North Korea. And I think this is enormously important.

It is also important because we bring different incentives and different leverage to the table in dealing with North Korea, each of us. And I believe we can do a better job, all of us, of mobilizing our efforts, vis-à-vis North Korea, although I would be the first to admit that it is not easy to deal with North Korea. When I go to China, I look forward to talking to the Chinese about what diplomacy they may be able to engage in to bring North Korea back to the talks and back to the talks in a spirit of actually trying to resolve the difficulties.

Yes, right here. Sorry, the people with the microphone are getting a workout here. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: My name is H. Kanesea (phonetic), a freelance journalist who graduated from Sophia University. First of all, thank you very much for coming to my alma mater.

I'd like to ask you about energy security. As you know, Japan's energy self-dependence is only four percent and the crude oil prices are rising very rapidly. I'm just wondering whether Japan should seek more actively nuclear energy, following in the steps of the United States?

SECRETARY RICE: Yes. Well, we all face a problem of energy security and energy demand. With growing economies, we are going to have to find reliable sources of energy that are also environmentally sensitive.

I was just talking with the Indians about this, the Pakistanis raise it. Of course, the demand that China is making on energy supply is part of the reason that we're seeing the tightening supply and therefore rising price that we're seeing. So we all face this problem as our economies grow.

Our view -- and I can't speak for Japan; that will have to be a decision that's made in Japan's democratic processes -- but from our point of view, from the point of view of the President, who has put forward an energy plan, a comprehensive energy plan to the Congress, we need to tap all supplies, all prospective supplies of energy, and that includes nuclear energy. The United States has not been in that business for a long time. It is the administration's view that we have to have a broad scale energy program. We also are spending a good deal of effort in trying to engage with technologies or support technologies that will reduce our dependence on hydrocarbons -- for instance, the idea of a hydrogen-powered car is one that the President announced a couple of years ago in his State of the Union address.

We spend about $5.8 billion a year on climate change issues, a good bit of that going toward looking for technological solutions to energy supply that will provide the ability to do this in a way that is environmentally sensitive. So from the point of view of the United States, we have got to broaden our basic supply and we really do need to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. For Americans, Middle East oil is particularly in this way a problem. But we need very much to broaden our base of supply and we need to do it smartly. And we and Japan, of course, as technological leaders, have and should have a more intensive energy dialogue so that we can address some of the concerns of growing economies in the face of tightening energy supplies.

QUESTION: I'm a lifelong businessman and international consultant. Now, this morning's Asahi Shimbun Newspaper reported the death of George Kennan at the age 101. Some 50 years ago, I was a graduate student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School and then dean of the Woodrow Wilson School arranged for us, only 20 of us graduate students then, to have dinner discussion with George Kennan, and we talked about his containment policy.

Now, in dealing with North Korea and others, you've proposed Six-Party Talks. Now, do you think through these talks you -- North Korea's nuclear ambitions and other threats can be contained? In much the same way could United States contain Iran's nuclear ambitions?

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. First of all, let me take the opportunity to say what a great loss George Kennan is to our country and to the world. I was personally inspired by him and by his work. I had the opportunity to meet him on a couple of occasions. He was one of the great architects of an American foreign policy at the end of World War II that is largely responsible for the great gifts of freedom that many people enjoy today, that is largely responsible for many of the alliances that the United States enjoys today, and that is largely responsible for the policies which led ultimately to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

And George Kennan had a particularly brilliant way of putting this. He said the United States and its allies had to contain the Soviet Union until it had to turn to deal with its internal contradictions. And, when you think about it, that is exactly what happened in the 1980s. It had to turn to deal with its internal contradictions and it could not survive those internal contradictions.

In terms of the lessons of that doctrine for the modern world, of course, every circumstance is different and one of the major changes that happened over time with the Soviet Union is, of course, that the Soviet Union began to behave in ways that, while extremely still aggressive, showed some willingness to engage in international discussions, for instance, on arms control and in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which turned out to be very important to the future of liberty in Eastern Europe.

I don't know whether North Korea is really prepared to do what it needs to do to find a more appropriate place in the international community of states. I do know that currently its behavior seems to be instead that it threatens and it decides to leave the talks and it declares itself a nuclear weapons state, and it doesn't come to negotiate in a way that suggests that it can make a strategic choice which would give, if it were willing to make that strategic choice to put aside its nuclear weapons ambitions and to verify and dismantle its nuclear programs, it would open up different paths for North Korea. But it really is incumbent on North Korea to show that it is prepared to do that.

Let me be very clear. The United States remains committed to a diplomatic solution to this problem. We believe that we can resolve it diplomatically. Of course, we are able to deter any North Korean aggression through our alliance with the Republic of Korea, with our own forces in the region. But no one wants to invade or attack North Korea. We would like to see peace on the Korean Peninsula and we would like to see a non-nuclear North Korea, because that's the only way you're going to get true peace on the Korean Peninsula.

There are a lot of other issues with North Korea that also would need to be resolved. We have said that the Japanese abductee issue must be resolved. There are missile issues with North Korea, conventional weapons issues. And there is also the matter of the fate of the North Korean people. I mean, there may be few people in the world who live in such dire circumstances. And we, and I know Japan, has tried through humanitarian assistance to try to help these people who are in desperate, desperate need. But if the North Korean government were willing to forgo its nuclear ambitions, perhaps it too could find a path to do something for these long-suffering people who deserve to live better than they do and who, frankly, deserve a chance also at greater freedom.

QUESTION: Good morning, Madame Secretary. Thank you very much for a very comprehensive lecture. I'm (inaudible) from College of Comparative Cultures, Sophia University.

As a student of political science, I'm very interested in your discourse on East Asia, because your discourse is very influential, not only on the United States government, but also on a student who studies international relations. Your discourse is very helpful to understand the United States foreign policy.

I have a question. I have some questions about United States-China relations. You once called China strategic competitor, not a strategic partner. In your article, promoting national interests in Foreign Affairs in 2000. However, in your recent -- in your recent remarks, in other words in route to India four days ago, you said United States has a constructive relation with China. Does it indicate you changed your view to China? Or do you come to consider China strategic partner?

At the same time, I would like to know how would you characterize United States-Japan relations? Thank you very much.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. It shows, never write an article and then go into government; people might actually read it. (Laughter.)

I think there is no doubt that what that article was referring to is the fact that China is a new factor in international politics, and it's a rising factor. You feel it here in Japan. You know, they feel it as far away as Mexico.

When I was in Mexico recently, they were talking about the Chinese economy and what it is doing. And so, China is a rising factor. And whenever there is a new factor -- you are a political scientist; you know this -- whenever there is a new factor in international politics, it can take a turn for the better or it can take a turn for the worse. But it is not inevitable that either of those happens. That is the role of policy. That is the role of diplomacy and statesmanship and institutions.

We sometimes think of political -- political scientists sometimes think of the world as driven by great forces. Yes, there are great forces, but there is also human agency. There is also the way that we decide to pursue certain policy. So knowing that China is a new factor, knowing that China has the potential for good or for bad, knowing that it will one way or another be an influence, it is our responsibility to try and push and prod and persuade China toward the more positive course.

There are ways that we have done that, for instance, in supporting Chinese accession into the WTO, because an economy that big needs to be integrated into a rules-based economic structure. And now we have to impress upon China the importance of living up to its WTO obligations, especially concerning, for instance, intellectual property rights.

We also recognize that, as we've been talking, China can be a major influence in resolving something like the North Korean problem, which is a very positive role. China is engaged in Haiti in police action in Haiti. That's positive. China's role in the war on terrorism has been positive. So there are many ways in which we can work with China.

On the other hand, China's internal evolution is still undetermined. And as we look at issues of religious freedom, issues of human rights, as we look to the relationship between Taiwan and China, we see that there are matters of concern that still might take a bad turn, and so our policies have to be aimed at trying to make -- make the most of our opportunities to mitigate against that circumstance in those cases.

And, finally, when I look at China's role in this region, I think it's a very important thing that China plays an increasing role. We want a confident China that can play an increasing role. It is nonetheless, a good thing, that China plays that role in the context of democratic alliances like the United States and Japan that bring not just a strength, economic and other strengths, but bring democratic values to the core of this region.

So, as we look to China's life, I really do believe that the U.S.-Japan relationship, the U.S.-South Korean relationship, the U.S.-Indian relationship, all are important in creating an environment in which China is more likely to play a positive role than a negative role. These alliances are not against China; they are alliances that are devoted to a stable security and political and economic and, indeed, values-based relationships that put China in the context of those relationships, and a different path to development than if China were simply untethered, simply operating without that strategic context.

QUESTION: Well, my name is Hondo (phonetic), president of (inaudible) University. To be quite frank, I have a feeling that a growing number of the Japanese are concerned with the possibility for the very rapid decline of the U.S. dollar in the near future. And may I ask, Madame Secretary, what do you think of the -- the U.S. dollar program from the viewpoint of the diplomatic policy? Thank you very much.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. Well, we favor a strong dollar. And, beyond that, I think it's not really appropriate for me to comment on currency issues.

Let me say that what the United States is focused on is trying to build internally in the United States a stronger, more robust economy that can be a magnet for investment, that can be a magnet for business development. The President very often says that the best way to keep business development and jobs in America is to make America the very best place to do business.

And he has an extensive program, including trying to deal with our twin deficits, that's our trade deficit, through making certain that the playing field is level in terms of trade. It's why disputes like the one, unfortunately, like the one we're going through, is very important to the United States, because it speaks very much to whether the United States economy can, in a free trading society, really depend on a level playing field. It is why we have had discussions with China about the need for structural reforms that will make this large Chinese economy one that promotes a level playing field, that doesn't keep special means and circumstances to itself.

We area also trying through fiscal discipline -- it's not easy, because the United States has gone through recession, through war, through a huge attack on the country on September 11th, which shaved billions and billions and billions of dollars off of our economic growth. But the President is trying to return fiscal discipline and has challenged the Congress to do that with a very tough budget. And it means regulatory reform in the United States. It means reform of our tendency to litigate everything and to make it difficult then for businesses to start and to do business in the United States because they are constantly afraid of litigation.

The President is also trying to deal with our long-term entitlement problems. We have a huge bow wave coming at us of people like me who are going to retire into a system where there are fewer people to take care -- by the way, I am -- just so you don't start counting, I was born in 1954, that means I am 50 years old. And the -- and for people like me, the Social Security crisis, we're caught right in the middle, not to mention what would happen to younger workers, if this continues.

So the President has -- and the gentleman mentioned energy and the question of a comprehensive energy plan is also a part of this. So the President has a broad agenda to try to deal with economic and structural reform in the United States so that we are operating from a position of strength in the world economy.

QUESTION: (in Japanese) Regarding your foreign policy objectives, I have a question. The arc of instability includes in the West we have seen some encouraging wins and we welcome this very much. And this is a result of the U.S.'s great involvement. The U.S. has been very involved in the West. But in the East, I think that it's not an exaggeration to say that it's been a bit neglectful. The Six-Party Talks have been set up and this has used China's influence because I think that the U.S. cannot be involved on the surface, I believe.

But, as you say, the East situation, what will make it better? It's not necessarily that. It's that many people are talking about the North Korean nuclear threat and you seem to be trusting China a great deal. But it's really increasing its military power and we believe it's doing so to compete with America. So Americans -- America's policy should focus toward more engagement from the West to the East, I believe.

SECRETARY RICE: We are concerned about the Chinese military buildup, and our best goal here is to keep strong alliances or our best response to that is to keep strong alliances and to make certain that America's military forces are second to none. And you can be certain that we will do what we need to do to modernize American military forces, to keep them strong, to keep them capable of defending peace and security, and providing an atmosphere in which democracy can take hold. And China is engaged in the Six Party Talks because it's not in China's interest to have a nuclear-armed North Korea. So we have a coincidence of interest here.

But as to the democratic enterprise and how Father Currie is standing right here, so I'll try to be quick in finishing my answer. I know when he's telling me it's time to go. (Laughter and applause.)

The point about democracy is a very good one. I think in Europe and actually in Japan after World War II, the view that peace and stability and economic prosperity meant that you had to have a democratic basis for those were fully understood by those framers of American foreign policy after World War II, people like Kennan and Acheson and Marshall and President Truman who seemed to understand that our values and our security were inextricably linked.

We did not have the same policy in the Middle East, for a variety of reasons, having to do with the desire, perhaps, to have reliable supplies of oil, perhaps thinking -- some people may have thought that, after all, well, Middle Eastern values are not consonant with the desire for democracy. And as President Bush said recently, for 60 years we pursued in the Middle East a policy that ignored the freedom deficit in the search for stability in the Middle East, and we got neither. What we got instead was a region that fell into a sense of anger and humiliation, and anger so great that on September 11th, people flew airplanes into our buildings, people who were well educated, some of them, to promote this ideology of hatred. That underneath the surface of that false stability was apparently just seething.

Now, knowing that, it is the responsibility and the policy of the United States that we are not going to turn a blind eye to the human desire for freedom anywhere in the world. We are going to proceed from the belief that individuals are by their very nature -- individuals, by their very nature, want to be free, they want to live in liberty. And if you pursue from that, then there is no corner of the globe, whether it is the Middle East or Burma or North Korea or wherever, that you should not be devoted to speaking out for those people.

Now, there used to be a time when people said, well, you know, Russians don't care about democracy or Asians don't care about democracy, or Africans or Latin Americans or fill in the blank, they didn't care about democracy. Well, we now know that, in fact, people flourish only when they have the kind of creativity that is allowed by democracy. And so we're not going to return to that.

Now, having said that, let me be the first to say it's not easy to build democracies, whether in multiethnic circumstances, homogeneous circumstances, it's not easy. I was just in Afghanistan. It's going to be hard in Afghanistan. We're watching. It's going to be hard in Iraq. It's going to be hard in the Middle East. It's going to be hard in places in Asia where it has not yet come. But the great value of democratic institutions is that they are, in and of themselves, alive for a place where people can, on an equal basis, come to help resolve their differences.

You know, I always go back to the founding of the United States of America, which is of course now a wonderful and mature democracy. But when the founding fathers said, "We, the people," they didn't mean me. My ancestors, in a compromise in 1789, were thought -- were made to be three-fifths of a man for voting purposes. And look at where the United States is now.

Thomas Jefferson, the great architect of liberty in the United States once said, "The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time." But he was a slave owner. He, like many of our founding fathers, was an imperfect man. But he recognized, and they recognized that if you built democratic institutions, if you kept the principles in front of you of liberty and freedom and human dignity, then people over time could struggle and stumble toward those great principles, and that humankind would be better off for it.

And so this is a long journey that we're all involved in, in democracy. But there is probably nothing more important to the future stability and peace of the world than that we get this right. And I'm very honored to be here in Japan where we have an essential and great partner in doing precisely that. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

2005/T4-16

Released on March 20, 2005


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