Japan PM asks Cabinet to plan for East Asian forum by May end
Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Friday instructed his Cabinet to work out by the end of May specific plans for his idea of forming an East Asian community for broad regional cooperation, a top government spokesman said.
Hatoyama has asked concerned ministers to form and implement "bold and proactive plans" in various areas based on the idea of "opening up Japan”, Chief Cabinet Secretary
Hirofumi Hirano told a press conference.
The Japanese government will formulate concrete plans by the end of May, while taking into consideration growth strategies it is aiming to lay out by June, according to Hirano.
It will subsequently develop discussions on such matters as which country will be included in the framework and what role the United States, Japan`s closest ally, will play in the scheme.
Hatoyama, who took office in mid-September, has advocated his vision for a regional Asian grouping, but no details have been decided yet.
Hirano said that the prime minister is developing the idea based "on the foundation of the Japan-US alliance”.
Either the National Policy Unit or the Cabinet Secretariat will be in charge of the compilation, according to Hirano.
As examples of some specific plans, Hirano said the Cabinet will draw up ways to promote free trade and various other forms of economic partnership and to cooperate with participating countries in the area of disaster prevention.
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