Ambassador Baker speaks at Research Institute of Japan on U.S.-Japan ties

June 27, 2003

AMBASSADOR BAKER: Ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed an honor and a privilege to be here today. The Research Institute of Japan started fifty years ago to further the exchange of public opinion and public debate so vital to any democratic nation, and I am grateful for the opportunity today to contribute in my small way to that exchange.

My friends, I have been in Japan now as the U.S. ambassador to this great country for almost exactly two years, and in that time there has been no greater assembly of talent, intellect, achievement and service than the audience that I am privileged to talk to today. This is indeed a very special forum. I feel like a pitcher who is facing a lineup made up entirely of Ichiros, but I will endeavor to do my best to live up to this occasion.

My friends, our two nations recently concluded a remarkable summit between President Bush and Prime Minister Koizumi, who met at President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The President thanked the Prime Minister for Japan's stalwart support in the war in Iraq, and reiterated that he looks forward to whatever active role Japan chooses to play in that unfortunate nation's reconstruction.

The real story of the summit, in my view, was not just the issues which were discussed by these two world leaders. The rest of the world saw, as I already knew, that Japan and the United States share common interests and common values. But the Crawford summit was evidence that we share a common purpose as well. We will face the problems of terrorism and despotism, those two twin "isms" that threaten our peace and security, as well as the great economic, environmental and social issues demanding our nations' attention, and demanding that we face them together.

We can see this close bond between the President and the Prime Minister in their appearance and their conversations and the way they treat with each other. May I say that I have been privileged, in the course of my career in government, to witness many other meetings between presidents and world leaders. Some were warm and cordial, and some were not. But the relationship between Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush is that of peer, comrade, friend and equal. And the obvious friendship between the two of them is a major contributor to our ability to face common problems, and to find common solutions. Indeed, I have never seen two world leaders who communicate more freely, and in a more meaningful way. I know the qualities of these men, and our two leaders reflect the honor and the commitment of Japan and the United States. They, and we, clearly have mutual respect for each other, and increasingly speak directly and frankly, not just because we are allies, as indeed we are, but also, and perhaps more importantly, because we are friends.

Friends, especially strong and independent friends like Japan and the United States, don't always agree. But we are always there for each other. America has often said that an attack on Japan would be considered an attack on the United States, and that expression, at the highest levels of our government, is the surest expression of our commitment to each other, and the bonds of friendship, as well as alliance, which join us together. We share an abiding trust in each other. That's how we feel about Japan, and we are emboldened to think that that's the way Japan feels about America.

There are many issues on which our two nations consult and collaborate. We must deal with problems ranging from public health to the health of our economies. But it seems that whenever I speak with my Japanese friends, there is a central theme these days, and that is the situation on the Korean peninsula.

I believe, I fear, that the threat from North Korea is grave indeed. I believe, indeed, that the threat to world peace is great. The threat to Japan is more immediate, but the threat to the entire world, of a nuclear-armed North Korean state, is something that concerns the entire world.

I wish I could tell you I knew how it will be resolved, how the world community will address and deal with this issue, this emergent new threat. But I cannot yet see how that will happen. Pyongyang seems petulantly determined to continue its course of confrontation, both military and personal. The abductees from Japan are a great human tragedy, and President Bush, at the summit meeting in Crawford, Texas, discussed this issue frankly and directly with Prime Minister Koizumi, underscoring our understanding of the personal tragedy of these abductees, and our commitment with you to try to reunite these families, as well as bring about the identification and release of others that may exist. It is indeed a mark of the importance of this issue, and the humanity of Japan and the United States, that in the midst of this important summit meeting between the President and the Prime Minister, that this issue was discussed freely, frankly and extensively by both world leaders. Your pain is our pain. Our sympathy is extended to you on this issue, and we admire your humanity for caring about it. So we care about it too.

My friends, I have no ready solution for that issue, but I will venture the estimate that, because of the friendship between our two leaders, because of the alliance between our two countries, because by recognition and understanding of the enormous importance of this human tragedy, that it bears further witness to the relationship between our countries, and equips us well to deal with other issues as well.

I wonder sometimes about the Korean peninsula, about whether or not their government, the country, their leadership, understands what a dangerous game they are playing. There are few things in life these days that are more threatening than the possibility of an irresponsible national presence armed with nuclear weapons. And that is precisely what we are confronted with here, in the evolution and development of a nuclear capability on the Korean peninsula.

So I wonder if they, if the North Korean government, understands what a deadly serious game they are playing as they engage in what I term the serial provocations calculated to inflame world opinion, to challenge the United States, Japan, South Korea and indeed the entire community of civilized nations in the world, to do anything about their aggressive development of nuclear weapons. I wonder if they really understand the breadth and the scope of the challenge they are uttering. I hope so, because it is real. I hope they understand as well that time is not on their side. I hope they understand that the world community, America and its president, the Republic of Korean, Japan, China and others, have been remarkably patient in the face of these serial provocations. More patient, perhaps, than the world community would have anticipated. One provocation after the other has not produced cataclysmic results, but rather a patient determination to see that this issue is solved through peaceful means, through diplomatic negotiations, through conversation between our nations. But my friends, traditionally and by definition, sooner or later patience expires. So I wonder if our friends in North Korea understand how close they may come to that.

We are committed, by word of the President of the United States, our Secretary of Defense, and other responsible officials in our government, to a peaceful solution to the challenge of North Korea. But also as our President has said, and I think properly so, while that is our wish, no option is off the table. So I wonder how far North Korea will push the patience of the world community. I wonder how long they will play this dangerous game. I wonder when they will understand that time is not on their side. I hope that they will do that, and come to the table to negotiate not just with the Untied States, because indeed it is not just a challenge to the United States, but those nations who are directly challenged and endangered.

Sometimes I hear that perhaps the United States should agree to the demand by the North Koreans that any negotiations be bilateral between the United States and North Korea. But the threat is not bilateral. In all candor, I must say there is very little danger to the United States from the nuclear provocations of North Korea. We are protected by distance and by technology. But there is grave danger to world peace. There is significant danger to Japan, and to Korea - the Republic of Korea - and to China, and to Russia perhaps. That is the reason why America insists that it is not a bilateral challenge, and it should not be addressed in a bilateral setting, but rather in a broad-based negotiation involving those who are more at risk, and why our President has said if there are other meetings with North Korea, they must involve China, the Republic of Korea, perhaps most of all Japan, and Russia, because it would be extraordinary if America were to arrogate unto itself the responsibility of dealing with an issue that is primarily of danger to other nations, or to make commitments that the North Koreans wish us to do, on behalf of other nations, in contribution to relief for the North Korean nation.

My sympathy goes out to the people of North Korea. My heart is troubled by the oppression of the North Korean government. My sensibilities say that our address should be to the relief of the misery and suffering of the people of North Korea, but not to the reinforcement of a regime committed to the development of nuclear weapons. Our President has made it clear that the United States has no intention of attacking North Korea, that there is a way out, and that is for the North Koreans to abandon their nuclear ambition, to irreversibly and verifiably eliminate their nuclear capability, and to provide the means for the international community to verify that they have indeed done that. Thatfs not too complicated. Itfs not unreasonable. The way to advance the cause of freedom and stability and the relief of the distress and suffering of the people of North Korea is straight-forward: Give up your nuclear ambition; subject yourself to international inspection; rejoin the international institutions that safeguard nuclear matters. Do these things. And for those who say thatfs an unreasonable demand on another sovereign nation, I would remind you that, in the mid 1990s the United States entered into an agreement with North Korea, the so-called framework agreement. It would appear that at the very moment we were agreeing to that, that North Korea was constructing a parallel nuclear capability at the gaseous diffusion plant. Which is not to say it disqualifies North Korea from settling this issue, but it does make the point that it is far more difficult for the world community to accept at face value any representations with the North on the nuclear issue unless it is accompanied by international inspections, by verifiable means. Not just to accept the Northfs word for it, but to demonstrate conclusively that they are performing on that commitment.

My friends, I donft wish to overemphasize the situation in North Korea, but I am prepared to say that it is a dangerous game. Ifm happy to say as well that the United States and Japan, as the largest economic powers in this region, as friends and allies - the United States and Japan - not only have an opportunity to address this issue together, but in my humble view, an obligation to do so. Because what we decide and what we do - that is Japan and the United States - in large measure will decide whether this part of the world is secure and stable and prosperous, or whether it continues to endure in the shadow of nuclear holocaust. We must work together.

It is because of that necessity that I was doubly pleased to see the growing friendship, the extending relationship, between Japan and the United States, as it was so clear in Crawford, Texas. Friendship between countries is important; friendship between leaders is convenient; but friendship between our two powers is essential, if we are to address, successfully, this and other serious issues.

My friends, Prime Minister Koizumi has been courageous in so many areas, and frankly, Ifm an admirer of his strength of leadership. I am an admirer of his leading support for action against Saddam Hussein, which I believe was correct and appropriate. The Prime Minister has already proven himself a master politician, maintaining historic levels of popularity more than two years after assuming office, which may be close to a record here in this great democratic society of Japan. But on the question of Iraq, I believe has proved himself a courageous statesman as well as a courageous leader, because perhaps no less than gambling on his own political future on an unpopular issue, was he willing to take the stand that history will surely vindicate as one of the acts of personal bravery and state leadership, certainly of this decade and perhaps of this century. My friends, it is not an American ambassadorfs mission in life to try to lecture you on your own politics. It is not appropriate; you would not like it, just as America would not like it if Japan were to lecture us on our politics. But I think it would be derelict if I did not express my admiration for what you are doing, and the quality of the leadership that serves this nation at this time. I think itfs doubly important that this friendship and alliance endure, not only because Japan and the United States are the two largest economies in the world - and by the way, we make up together 40 percent of the gross national product of the world - not only because of our size and strength, but also we are among the leading democratic powers in the world.

Ifm sometimes asked to say what I think Japan will be in 10 years, and I cannot answer that. That is very much up to Japan. But what I can do is to list the assets that Japan has for facing the challenges of the future and deciding what theyfre going to be in 10 years. First and foremost, even beyond the strength of your economy, is the fact that you are a great functioning democracy. In commenting on the Prime Ministerfs strength, I also comment on the efficiency of your democratic institutions. Japan is very good at politics. The political system is very capable of efficiently hearing what people have to say and then translating it into useful public policy. But Japan is also very good at choosing qualified leaders and then entrusting them to make major decisions, and to trust them with those decisions, even though they may be momentarily unpopular. These are marks of a mature democratic system, and honestly Ifd list that as the first and prime asset for Japan in deciding what it will do and what it will become in the next 10 years. Youfre an efficient, functioning democracy, given that in America and Japan, democracy is sometimes inconvenient; it is often messy; it is certainly controversial. But still in all, democracy is the most efficient and effective way for people to govern themselves, and Japan has become very good at that. That is the first thing.

The second thing is that Japan is central to the prosperity of this part of the world, because of your economy and because of your democratic systems, but also because of your location. You live in a very dangerous part of the world. But you also live in an area of the world that is undergoing extraordinary development throughout the region. So you have a special opportunity to have a hand and a say in how that unfolds and develops. It is consoling, then, to see that the people of Japan are responding to the political system by full participation and the free expression of their ideas, of their demands, of their desires and their dissent - all of it is part and parcel to a democratic system. And the fact that you do that, I believe, guarantees that Japan will be in the vanguard, in the leadership, of formulating world policy, not only in this part of the world, but worldwide.

You have many challenges that confront you. How do you participate in world affairs? I sense and believe that Japan - consciously or unconsciously - recognizes that "we are a great economic power, but that we want and deserve a larger role to play on the world stage." And how do you do that? Well, first of all, Japan properly wants to be - and the United States supports its ambition to be - a permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations. That is the policy of the United States and has been c forever. The second thing is to participate in world affairs as the opportunity presents itself and you have an opportunity to contribute, and youfre doing that in your efforts abroad, beyond the boundaries of Japan, in the Golan Heights, in East Timor, and perhaps soon in Iraq. But it is one of the indices of mature governance that youfre willing to undertake responsibilities, even in the presence of danger, in order to fulfill your obligation to help assure the peace and stability of the world and of this region, and to act the part of a great world power. Japan is indeed a great world power.

The next point I would make, among your assets, is your extraordinary accumulation of resources. You have, I believe, the greatest reservoir of savings of any nation on earth. You have essentially no foreign debt. You have it in your economic power to do virtually anything Japan wants to do. Youfre not unduly beguiled by temporary dips in your economy, but you realize that you have the ability to address these issues. But your economic power is extraordinary and gives you a special place at the table, a special opportunity to play on the world stage, and a special value to the rest of the world that values freedom and democracy.

We could go on. You have an educated population. You have a young generation that is perhaps more aware and participatory than any young generation in the history of Japan, and from those fertile minds will come new ideas and new direction, not only for Japan and East Asia, but for the whole world. You put all these things together, my friends, and the opportunities for Japan are extraordinary.

So Ifm not trying to advise Japan. Ifm simply saying to my friends in Japan, "Take heart." Your future is almost unlimited. But take heart as well that America and Japan, the two great democracies of the 21st century, are friends and allies, that we will have a commonality of purpose, a mutual contribution of skill, a formulation of important policies, and a leadership of the entire world. Thatfs what I think about Japan.

Now let me say a concluding word about America, my own country. America is in fact the largest economy in the world. We are also the worldfs leader in military strength. But in my view, we are also the most compassionate, caring and understanding nation on earth. We cherish freedom. We advocate it for the world at large. We deplore violence. We do not understand how other nations can take hostages in Japan. We are sympathetic to the poor and the downtrodden. But we are also what I have just described for Japan. We are aware of our responsibilities. And this American president, I believe, is more aware of these responsibilities that follow on the heels of our strength and resources, than any president perhaps in many years.

So I am optimistic about our economy in America. It is dynamic. It will grow and expand. I am optimistic about the elaboration and extension of human rights and sympathetic concern for the downtrodden in America. I am optimistic about even the improvement of our democratic systems in America. And I am also optimistic about our young people. They too are the most aware, best educated, participatory generation in history, and they too, like Japan, have much to contribute. So itfs up to us to try to harvest that genius and to translate that into public policy, which we will do.

My friends, I have talked too long. I would like to make two personal remarks and then conclude and try to answer your questions. The first is, my wife and I love Japan. We enjoy being here. We travel extensively in this country. Itfs a beautiful country, and itfs a challenge to us to better understand it. But the longer wefre here, the more we realize that while there are great cultural, language and other differences between America and Japan, that the two countries are growing closer together all the time, and I think thatfs good for mankind. I think we understand each other better than we ever have.

And on a personal note, my oldest grandson just finished his junior year in college here in Tokyo - by his choice, not mine. Hefs leaving, going back to America on Monday, absolutely in love with this country. Ifm glad, because I think thatfs an illustration of what our two nations will be like in the years to come: closer together; committed to personal freedom; dynamic economic engines; reservoirs of creativity; defenders of peace and stability; innovators in advantages for humanity that we can only barely dream of now. It is not an overstatement to say that Japan and the United States have a special role to play together in that future.

Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Thank you for your sincere presentation. We have received some questions from our members. On behalf of the Secretariat, we'd like to ask you several questions, and after that we would like to open it up to the floor. If our time permits, we'd like to take me questions from the floor. My first questionc In order to make North Korea abandon its plan to develop nuclear weapons, the U.S., Japan, and South Korea are following the policies of dialogue and pressure toward North Korea, but there are differences in temperature among the three countries on the policies. What is your comment on this? Also, you said that "no options are excluded or ruled out," but vis-a-vis North Korea, a preemptive attack against North Korea, is that the part of that pressure?

AMBASSADOR BAKER: I must confess that I had difficulty finding an ear that could hear, but as best I understand your question, it was further reference of North Korea. I think I've answered at some length about my views on North Korea, but let me repeat, if I may, the statement I made a moment ago. That is, it is clear that our President, our government, wishes to see the challenge of North Korea solved through peaceful means. We have no desire to engage militarily with North Korea. We are determined to see that there is a peaceful solution, but also to say, for the benefit of our friend in North Korea, that that patience does not signal weakness. Rather, the president has said that no measure is off the table. I hope Japan understands that patience is not infinite, that they are playing a dangerous game, and that it's time to solve this issue. It's time to agree to multilateral talks. It's time to agree to disband their nuclear facilities. It's time to rejoin international institutions, to readmit IEAE inspectors, and proceed with the verifiable, irreversible dismantlement of their nuclear capability. That's what I think.

QUESTION: Next question. Mr. Koizumi might feel like going to North Korea again. Some people want him to go. Would the United States support his visiting North Korea again?

AMBASSADOR BAKER: The United States' supported the Prime Minister's visit to North Korea before, as it occurred, and has since. While we, I on behalf of my government, expressed a clear message about the dangers involved in the nuclear developments in North Korea, we supported the Prime Minister's effort to travel to North Korea, and indeed he did. I believe in the long term that visit will prove, has proven, to be useful and important, even though it has not been definitive. It has not solved the issue. The question is would the United States support another visit by the Prime Minister? The first thing I said, almost the first thing I said, when I came to Japan was that I am not here to try to tell Japan what to do, because after all Japan and the United States are friends and allies, but we also think of each other, by and large, as peers and equals. We will watch with great interest what Japan decides to do. We will council and advise on our views and ideas, but we will never try to say we support or do not support a particular action by this country. If the Prime Minister chooses to go, I am virtually certain that America would not object to that, but I am also fairly certain that we might also have some very exact ideas about how that conference might go. It would embrace, I am sure, the idea that they must dismantle their nuclear program in a verifiable, irreversible manner. But that's a decision, that is another trip, is a decision that only the Prime Minister can make. We will abide by his decision, we will watch with great interest.

QUESTION: I'd like to move to the next question. I have a question about the U.S. economic condition and the foreign exchange rate policy. First, about the future of the U.S. economyc What is your view about the future prospects for the U.S. economy? About the exchange rate policy, does the Bush administration want a strong dollar? That seems to be the position of the U.S. government, but do you think that this policy of a strong dollar conforms to the current U.S. economic condition?

AMBASSADOR BAKER: I'm going to answer your question in a minute, but I am going to give you a rule of thumb that I go by in public affairs. That is, there are some questions I have to answer, there are some questions I can answer if I chose to, and there are some questions I should never answer. The question of exchange rates falls in that category of issues that I am not qualified to deal with, I have no authority to deal with, and therefore will not deal with. I have no idea about exchange rates. I have seen a number of Secretaries of the Treasury who have made remarks about the exchange rate and then regretted it. I am not prepared to follow in their footsteps. What do I think about the American economy? I think the economy of the United States is sound. My friend Alan Greenspan made that remark as recently as yesterday. I think that's true. We all have our problems, but I think there's a trend up in the American economy and that will continue, maybe with fits and starts, but it will continue, the trend line will be up. The matter of trade, I am not going to talk about exchange rates, but the matter of trade between Japan and the United States is of extraordinary importance. I was thinking the other day of how far Japan and the United States have come in just a few years on trade issues. My predecessors dealt extensively and sometimes acrimoniously with automobiles, with citrus, with steel. Almost none of these things are dominant issues now. We worry a little about beef and chickens and things like that, but I will talk to your ministers about that. The economic relationship between our two countries on trade, on mutual investment, I think is better than it has ever been in history. I had that in mind when I said a moment ago that I thought our countries have grown closer together than ever before. Not just that there's a McDonalds's on every corner or that there are sushi parlors down Connecticut Avenue in Washington, but they are closer together. I think our young people will be even closer together for a lot of reasons, but I really do think that. I think that our economies in both countries are strong, they will develop along different paths, but as long as we are well led, and both nations are well led, I think the prospects for the future are very good.

QUESTION: My final question. I have a question concerning Mr. Koizumi's policies. Some people in the United States say that the structural reform in Japan is not going fast enough. Do you have any comments on that? Particularly, we are interested in some areas you might have in mind where reforms should proceed.

AMBASSADOR BAKER: Well it is probably true that some of my friends in America think structural reform is not going fast enough, but some of my friends in America think structural reform in America is not going fast enough either. It is the privilege of friends to be critical, but on balance, I think that the reforms, economic reforms and structural reforms as well as international reforms and foreign policy in Japan, are going very well indeed. I have high confidence in where you are headed, the quality of your leadership, and I think it will work out. We could talk about non-performing loans, except I do it all the time and I don't want to. We could talk about special zones, and you no doubt will talk about that in the political arena for a long time. We could talk about so many other things, but the truth of the matter is America must place confidence in Japan to solve its own problems. We will not refrain from expressing our views, giving our advice, but Japan must solve those problems. By the same token, America must solve our problems. But let's treat each other as peers and equals, not just as friends and allies, but as peers and equals. Because given our position in the world, the strength of our economy, our commitment to peace and stability, that's what we are. We are two great nations who must treat each other with dignity and respect as peers and equals, and have a decent respect for the other's point in view. With that in mind, I don't give advice.

My friends, you are very kind. I thank you for listening to me. I apologize to my speechwriters for wandering around, but I felt an impulse to do so based on the input that I felt from this audience, and I hope it was all right. I'm reminded finally of what my father said to me after I tried my first lawsuit - I'm a lawyer by training. I was a trial lawyer. My father, also was a lawyer, was with me when I argued my first case to a jury. When I sat down, when I finished, as I am about to do now, and sat down, I turned to my father and said, 'How did I do in my speech to the jury?" My father thought for a minute, and then said, "You did OK, but in the future, you should guard against speaking more clearly than you think." My friends, I hope I have not done that here today. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: (Moderator) Ambassador, when I said the final question, I meant my final question, but there are other questions.

AMBASSADOR BAKER: You said final question, but yes, I would be happy to answer one more question.

QUESTION: That was my mistake. I am sorry. There are people who have questions on the floor, so would you raise your hand and ask questions? We will get you the handheld microphone.

QUESTION: Ambassador Baker, thank you very much for the very encouraging presentation. Thank you very much indeed. In Gifu prefecture I make sonic products. My name is Ogi. There is a company called Mantos in the United States who does a similar business. In Boston they have a plant, well we have a factory there. I'd like to ask you a couple of questions. North Korea is enriching its uranium, and in that way North Korea is violating the agreed framework between the U.S. and itself. In response to this situation, do you think that the United States will halt the construction of light water reactors? This is my first question. I have another question. I have a question about China. Do you think the Chinese currency - yuan, or renminbi - should rise in value? These are my two questions.

AMBASSADOR BAKER: Well, there's one other principle I've learned in my years of public service. That is, I always stay for one question too many. The answer to your first question about light water reactors, as best I understood it - should they be completed, is that the question? I think that the completion of the light water reactors, within the framework of the framework agreement, is a matter that should be addressed carefully and with the coordinating committee which is set up to supervise that transaction. It's a little hard for me to understand how you would complete those reactors on the one hand and urge the North Koreans to dismantle their nuclear capability on the other hand. The two are not identical, but they're related. So I don't know. My guess is that if the North Koreans do not mend their ways, if they do not decide to engage in the dismantlement of their weapons program, that it is unlikely that the United States would support the completion of those reactors beyond the commitment that we've undertaken in the framework agreement. The second question I'm afraid I didn't understand. And I ...

QUESTION: The second question is about the Chinese currency, yuan. Do you think that the Chinese currency should go up in value?

AMBASSADOR BAKER: If I won't comment on America's exchange rate, I certainly won't comment on China's exchange rate. Exchange rates are important things, but they are also exotic and not widely agreed on. There are some in America who claim that the dollar is undervalued, some who claim it's overvalued, and frankly, I don't know what it is. I have no view. But on the yuan, there's no doubt that China is a dynamic economy, and that they are increasingly dependant on trade - not dependant, but increasingly involved in trade - so exchange rates will have a very significant effect. But since I'm not going to answer your question, let me answer another question. And that is: sometimes people ask, "Well, isn't China the big problem for Japan? They are a great emerging industrial and economic power, aren't they going to be a real problem for Japan?" My answer is, "Not necessarily, I don't think so." As a matter of fact, I would tell you that I don't think the Japan-China relationship is or should be a zero-sum game. I don't think you have to adopt one or the other - China or Japan, or the views of China or Japan - in order to reach the best solution. It occurs to me that the advantages that China has - a great population; dynamic, new and vigorous economic and industrial growth on the one hand - matches up pretty carefully with Japan's advantages - great resources, great capital, educated population, innovation, and a demonstrated ability to build an industrial complex; to say nothing of the strength and vitality of your democratic system. So I don't think that the China-Japan relationship really should be thought of as a zero-sum game. I think the two complement each other. Exactly how that translates, I'll leave up to you. Whether it's in terms of some future free trade agreement between your countries, or a more informal interchange of investment, and other relationships, is something that only Japan and China can decide. But please, understand that I do not think that you have to hate China to love Japan, or love Japan to hate China. It is not a zero-sum game. You live in the same neighborhood. You have complementary advantages. And I'm confident that you'll find out how to deal with it.

Now that is the last question, and I thank you very much for your attention.