Again for this to happen, interaction with our neighbours, not only trade partners in Asia, but the United States, Australia, and the other nations are crucial. Exchange of people as well as ideas will be very important. Going back to Prime Minister Nakasone and Prime Minister Koizumi, leaders have been talking about the need for a sizeable increase in the exchange of young people and students. It is true between our two countries, and it is true between China and Japan and in other parts of Asia as well. The outcomes certainly will not only be a better understanding on the part of our respective young generations about the cultures of other people, but the chemistry that will come out of such exchanges. I'm hopeful this will also result in a lot of new questions to be asked, global or in the region, and that will help develop tremendous opportunities for the younger generation to tackle. The regional groupings, like the East Asian community: I remember vividly when Prime Minister Mahathir talked about EAEC - there are a couple of versions, I don't remember everything - but it's interesting that EAEC, after many years, is sort of acting in substance as ASEAN plus three. We talked about ASEAN plus four, but all indicating the importance of this region. Not really coming together, but developing a common sense of aspirations and hopefully common sense belief in our ability to achieve such aspirations, and most importantly developing concrete plans to achieve such goals. Now for a region as versatile and rich in cultural and religious belief and stages of developments, it is not easy to come up with simplified goals and aspirations, but I think that the whole process of developing aspirations itself is an extremely effective and useful tool by which to develop a commonsense community. In Japan, largely because of the fear and dislike towards China - which is unjustified, anyway, but some people have some personal beliefs - there are a lot of people who believe it is just too premature at best to think about the East Asian community. I may be wrong, I am always an optimist, but for a single human being or group of human beings, whether it's a corporation or a country, I just cannot think of people being able to develop further without any goals or aspirations.
Now I think it is wrong to hope that someone with a superb capability, or some country with a perceived superb power, will come out and press upon us: 'This is our vision'. I think that is wrong. I don't think we are there, we will never be there, but I think a common effort to develop such aspirations, which we can all share, that process is going to be important. And I think this richness that we all enjoy in this mission, deserves such effort. And here again I'm going back to our proud record, your proud record, of being the ones who have taken the initiative, many initiatives, some of which have come to realisation, things like APEC, ABAC and so forth, and because of the states of our economies, it is not just that we are coming into a rather advanced stage of economic development, technology-wise, I think we both have a very important role to play, in encouraging that dialogue of trying to develop common aspirations and even common beliefs and of course eventually common plans.
I am no China expert, but I have no doubt that China will grow; they will have ups and downs but not the kind that will take them all the way back to before Christ. I think we have to live with China, and I think I say this not in the negative, passive way, I think China has a great deal to offer. The younger generation of Chinese are more worldly, more global than their seniors, like our youngsters are, and I have a great deal of hope that China certainly will be a very important part in that development of aspirations, beliefs, and plans, but particularly here, I'm speaking in Sydney with the very proud history that our two countries have, both at the public level and the private level, that we will be able to play, and we must play, a singularly important role in helping the others develop this East Asia - no matter what you call it - but I think the community that we can share and that will help the region and the world as a whole.
Be assured the Japanese economy is OK. Thank you.