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Tokyo Economic Declaration

Tokyo, May 6, 1986

  1. We, the Heads of State or Government of seven major industrialized countries and the representatives of the European Community, meeting in Tokyo for the twelfth Economic Summit, have reviewed developments in the world economy since our meeting in Bonn a year ago, and have reaffirmed our continuing determination to work together to sustain and improve the prosperity and wellbeing of the peoples of our own countries, to support the developing countries in their efforts to promote their economic growth and prosperity, and to improve the functioning of the world monetary and trading systems.
  2. Developments since our last meeting reflect the effectiveness of the policies to which we have committed ourselves at successive Economic Summits in recent years. The economies of the industrialized countries are now in their fourth year of expansion. In all our countries, the rate of inflation has been declining. With the continuing pursuit of prudent fiscal and monetary policies, this has permitted a substantial lowering of interest rates. There has been a significant shift in the pattern of exchange rates which better reflects fundamental economic conditions. For the industrialized countries, and indeed for the world economy, the recent decline in oil prices will help to sustain noninflationary growth and to increase the volume of world trade, despite the difficulties which it creates for certain oilproducing countries. Overall, these developments offer brighter prospects for, and enhance confidence in, the future of the world economy.
  3. However, the world economy still faces a number of difficult challenges which could impair sustainability of growth. Among these are high unemployment, large domestic and external imbalances, uncertainty about the future behavior of exchanges rates, persistent protectionist pressures, continuing difficulties of many developing countries and severe debt problems for some, and uncertainty about mediumterm prospects for the levels of energy prices. If large imbalances and other distortions are allowed to persist for too long, they will present an increasing threat to world economic growth and to the open multilateral trading system. We cannot afford to relax our efforts. In formulating our policies, we need to look to the medium and longer term, and to have regard to the interrelated and structural character of current problems.
  4. We stress the need to implement effective structural adjustment policies in all countries across the whole range of economic activities to promote growth, employment and the integration of domestic economies into the world economy. Such policies include technological innovation, adaptation of industrial structure and expansion of trade and foreign direct investment.
  5. In each of our own countries, it remains essential to maintain a firm control of public spending within an appropriate mediumterm framework of fiscal and monetary policies. In some of our countries there continue to be excessive fiscal deficits which the governments concerned are resolved progressively to reduce.
  6. Since our last meeting we have had some success in the creation of new jobs to meet additions to the labor force, but unemployment remains excessively high in many of our countries. Noninflationary growth remains the biggest single contributor to the limitation and reduction of unemployment, but it needs to be reinforced by policies which encourage job creation, particularly in new and hightechnology industries, and in small businesses.
  7. At the same time, it is important that there should be close and continuous coordination of economic policy among the seven Summit countries. We welcome the recent examples of improved coordination among the Group of Five Finance Ministers and Central Bankers, which have helped to change the pattern of exchange rates and to lower interest rates on an orderly and noninflationary basis. We agree, however, that additional measures should be taken to ensure that procedures for effective coordination of international economic policy are strengthened further. To this end, the Heads of State or Government:
  8. With the representatives of the European Community:

    The Heads of State or Government:

    These improvements in coordination should be accompanied by similar efforts within the Group of Ten.

  9. The pursuit of these policies by the industrialized countries will help the developing countries in so far as it strengthens the world economy, creates conditions for lower interest rates, generates the possibility of increased financial flows to the developing countries, promotes transfer of technology and improves access to the markets of the industrialized countries. At the same time, developing countries, particularly debtor countries, can fit themselves to play a fuller part in the world economy by adopting effective structural adjustment policies, coupled with measures to mobilize domestic savings, to encourage the repatriation of capital, to improve the environment for foreign investment, and to promote more open trading policies. In this connection, noting in particular the difficult situation facing those countries highly dependent on exports of primary commodities, we agree to continue to support their efforts for further processing of their products and for diversifying their economies, and to take account of their export needs in formulating our own trade and domestic policies.
  10. Private financial flows will continue to play a major part in providing for their development needs. We reaffirm our willingness to maintain and, where appropriate, expand official financial flows, both bilateral and multilateral, to developing countries. In this connection, we attach great importance to an early and substantial eighth replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA) and to a general capital increase of the World Bank when appropriate. We look for progress in activating the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.
  11. We reaffirm the continued importance of the casebycase approach to international debt problems. We welcome the progress made in developing the cooperative debt strategy, in particular building on the United States initiative. The role of the international financial institutions, including the multilateral development banks, will continue to be central, and we welcome moves for closer cooperation among these institutions, and particularly between the IMF and the World Bank. Sound adjustment programs will also need resumed commercial bank lending, flexibility in rescheduling debt and appropriate access to export credits.
  12. We welcome the improvement which has occurred in the food situation in Africa. Nonetheless a number of African countries continue to need emergency aid, and we stand ready to assist. More generally, we continue to recognize the high priority to be given to meeting the needs of Africa. Measures identified in the Report on Aid to Africa adopted and forwarded to us by our Foreign Ministers should be steadily implemented. Assistance should focus in particular on the medium- and longterm economic development of these countries. In this connection we attach great importance to continued cooperation through the Special Facility for SubSaharan African countries, early implementation of the newly established Structural Adjustment Facility of the IMF and the use of the IDA. We intend to participate actively in the forthcoming United Nations Special Session on Africa to lay the foundation for the region's longterm development.
  13. The open multilateral trading system is one of the keys to the efficiency and expansion of the world economy. We reaffirm our commitment to halting and reversing protectionism, and to reducing and dismantling trade restrictions. We support the strengthening of the system and functioning of the GATT, its adaptation to new developments in world trade and to the international economic environment, and the bringing of new issues under international discipline. The new round should, inter alia, address the issues of trade in services and traderelated aspects of intellectual property rights and foreign direct investment. Further liberalization of trade is, we believe, of no less importance for the developing countries than for ourselves, and we are fully committed to the preparatory process in the GATT with a view to the early launching of the new round of multilateral trade negotiations. We shall work at the September Ministerial meeting to make decisive progress in this direction.
  14. We note with concern that a situation of global structural surplus now exists for some important agricultural products, arising partly from technological improvements, partly from changes in the world market situation, and partly from longstanding policies of domestic subsidy and protection of agriculture in all our countries. This harms the economies of certain developing countries and is likely to aggravate the risk of wider protectionist pressures. This is a problem which we all share and can be dealt with only in cooperation with each other. We all recognize the importance of agriculture to the wellbeing of rural communities, but we are agreed that, when there are surpluses, action is needed to redirect policies and adjust structure of agricultural production in the light of world demand. We recognize the importance of understanding these issues and express our determination to give full support to the work of the OECD in this field.
  15. Bearing in mind that the recent oil price decline owes much to the cooperative energy policies which we have pursued during the past decade, we recognize the need for continuity of policies for achieving longterm energy market stability and security of supply. We note that the current oil market situation enables countries which wish to do so to increase stock levels.
  16. We reaffirm the importance of science and technology for the dynamic growth of the world economy and take note, with appreciation, of the final report of the Working Group on Technology, Growth and Employment. We welcome the progress made by the United States Manned Space Program and the progress made by the autonomous work of the European Space Agency (ESA). We stress the importance for genuine partnership of appropriate exchange of information, experience and technologies among the participating States. We also note with satisfaction the results of the Symposium on Neuroscience and Ethics, hosted by the Federal Republic of Germany, and we appreciate the decision of the Canadian Government to host the next meeting.
  17. We reaffirm our responsibility, shared with other governments, to preserve the natural environment, and continue to attach importance to international cooperation in the effective prevention and control of pollution and natural resources management. In this regard, we take note of the work of the environmental experts on the improvement and harmonization of the techniques and practices of environmental measurement, and ask them to report as soon as possible. We also recognize the need to strengthen cooperation with developing countries in the area of the environment.
  18. We have agreed to meet again in 1987 and have accepted the invitation of the President of the Council of the Italian Government to meet in Italy.

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Source: U.S., Department of State, Bulletin, No. 2112 (July 1986): 8-10; Economic Summits, 1975-1986: Declarations (Rome: Istituto Affari Internazionali, 1987): 137-143; Great Britain, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Declarations of Annual Economic Summits, 1975-1986 (London, 198-): A12 Tokyo, 1-6 [unpublished].

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