Koizumi told Bush the six-way talks framework was key to resolving the North Korean problem, a Japanese government official told reporters. US-Asian economic relations were also at the heart of the talks amid concerns about the sliding dollar.
In his meeting with Koizumi, Bush insisted the United States was committed to a strong dollar despite its drop in value and would work with the US Congress on reducing the US budget deficit, a factor in the dollar’s fall. Koizumi said he agreed with Bush “a strong dollar has good impact on the US economy and is also important for the world economy.”
Bush and Hu also talked about foreign exchange issues and senior US officials said Hu told Bush that China was committed to freeing up the Chinese currency. Washington has been pressing China to adopt a more flexible exchange rate as a way to boost exports and help US manufacturers.
The communique is something of a compromise as some of the 21 members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum have voiced dismay at a United States drive to push security and the war against terrorism on an equal footing with Apec’s original goal of fostering prosperity and free trade.
But United States President George W. Bush intensified his drive to put the war on terror at the heart of the summit.