Who is responsible for the tensions in the region, apart from North Korea?
I wasn’t referring to a specific country; it’s more about history. It can be said that if territory constitutes the body, history constitutes the soul. . . . Even a very small fire can be greatly inflamed, so it is imperative that we have a hard-headed and correct understanding of history.
How dangerous are the tensions among Japan, China and other countries in the region, and what more could the United States do?
This could be referred to as the Asian paradox. We see deepening economic interdependence in Northeast Asia uneasily coexisting with tensions deriving from various historical issues that spill over into the political and security realms. . . . Unlike Europe, this region does not have a framework for multilateral discussions, and this just simply doesn’t make sense. This is why I propose to advance the Peace and Cooperation Initiative for Northeast Asia, whereby the countries of Northeast Asia, including the United States — and this would be firmly anchored to our alliance with the United States — could engage in discussions of nonpolitical issues, such as climate change, terrorism and nuclear safety. . . . We could build trust and then move on to larger issues of cooperation. This is what I proposed, and while it may not seem like much, I think the state of emotions here in the region can be quite risky and dangerous, so if we could build trust, this is a project which I wish to pursue jointly with the United States and in fact it is what I suggested to President Obama in my meeting with him today.