Index

                            THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Press Secretary
________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                      July 17, 2000


                             PRESS BRIEFING
                                   BY
            LAEL BRAINARD, DEPUTY NATIONAL ECONOMIC ADVISOR
                                  AND
            JIM STEINBERG, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR

                    The James S. Brady Briefing Room


12:50 P.M. EDT


     MR. STOCKWELL:  Good afternoon.  Today's press briefing is on
President Clinton's upcoming trip to Japan.  The briefers are Jim
Steinberg, Deputy National Security Advisor; and Lael Brainard, Deputy
National Economic Advisor.  First up is Lael.

     MS. BRAINARD:  The President is departing Wednesday for his 8th
G-7/G-8 meeting.  And before I go into the schedule I'll give you a
brief overview of how the G-8 has evolved during the President's tenure,
and a description of our overall agenda for Okinawa.

     During the time that the President has been attending the G-7/G-8
meetings, the G-7 has expanded to formally include Russia, with the
first official summit of the 8 hosted actually by President Clinton in
Denver in 1997.  And the agenda has expanded beyond issues of
macroeconomic coordination to include the full range of issues critical
to world prosperity and world stability.

     Jim will comment on the regional security aspects of the Okinawa
agenda in a moment, and will also preview the bilaterals.

     Events have come full circle.  The President attended his first
summit in Japan in 1993, and will be attending this, his last summit,
again in Japan.  In 1993, the President was the new guy on the block
with a weak U.S. economy and growing deficits.  This year he returns as
the senior statesman in the group, with a positive world economic
outlook, the longest expansion in U.S. history, and an established
record on turning deficits into surpluses.

     It's worth noting that since between 1980 and 1993, every G-7
communique noted concerns about the U.S. budget deficit.  In 1993, for
the first time the deficit reduction plan was commended.  And this year,
of course, our deficit, which was projected to be $455 billion in 2000,
is now, in fact, projected to be a surplus of $211 billion.

     The other thing that's worth noting on the economic front is the
information technology revolution that has helped drive economic growth
in the United States has drawn attention throughout the world and will,
in fact, be chief theme of the summit.

     But at the same time there is heightened prosperity in parts of the
world, there is growing disparity with the poorest nations.  One point
two billion of the world's roughly 6 billion people live on less than $1
per day.  Another 1.6 billion live on less than $2 a day.  So a second
chief theme of the Okinawa Summit is to address the health divide, the
education divide and the digital divide with a renewed sense of urgency
and purpose.

     For the first time ever, on the eve of the Summit, G-8 leaders will
meet with leaders of developing nations, representatives of the private
sector and key multilateral development organizations to develop a
deeper partnership on global poverty.

     The G-8 will signal their intent to work with these actors on a
coordinated response to support strong efforts by leaders of the
developing world who want to move forward on these critical challenges.
This builds on one of the Cologne summit's primary achievements, which
was a plan to triple the scale of debt relief for the world's poorest.
Together, Cologne and Okinawa are critical steps in the President's
personal agenda of putting a human face on the global economy.
     Trade investment and technology are potential powerful engines of
growth and development for poor countries, but they are necessary, not
sufficient.  That is why Okinawa is going to look at some of the
complementary policies that are so important.  For instance, lack of
human capacity associated with disease, malnutrition and illiteracy make
it impossible for some of the developing countries to take advantage of
these opportunities.  Sick and malnourished people have less access to
education, find it harder to learn; illiterate people are harder to
reach through public health campaigns -- targeted HIV-AIDS -- and it's
harder for them to implement complicated treatment regimes.

     Let me give you a few of the statistics on HIV-AIDS and infectious
diseases more generally.  HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria threaten
an entire generation of the developing world.  They're taking a
devastating human and economic toll.  And because they're
disproportionately afflicting those with the least ability to afford
immunizations and treatments, the private sector does not have an
incentive to invest in these critical areas that's consistent with the
social value of doing so.

     That's why a coordinated response is necessary.  In Botswana,
Zimbabwe, and South Africa, over 20 percent of the population is
infected, and half of all 15-year-olds are projected to die of AIDS.
The population of each of these countries will actually decline in the
coming years.  And 44 million children will be orphaned worldwide in the
next decade as a result of HIV-AIDS.

     Tuberculosis accounts for more than 2.3 million deaths each year,
and malaria kills more than 1 million, mostly in Africa.  And finally,
at least 3 million children die needlessly each year for lack of access
to existing vaccines.

     The G-8 will come up with a response on some of these challenges.
Secondly, Okinawa will seek to address the education divide.  Universal
basic education is a critical goal, both in its own right and because it
is a critical tool for fighting disease and for taking advantage of
economic opportunity.  Extensive research suggests this is one of the
highest returning investments in the world.

     Let me give you another statistic in this area.  About 60-70
percent of the estimated over 100 million children who are not in school
are girls; 40 percent of African children are out of school; 26 percent
of South and West Asian children are out of school.  At the G-8 the
leaders will be talking about the principles and commitments that were
made at Dakar to achieve universal education -- universal primary
education -- by 2015, and also the Dakar principle that no country that
comes forward with a strong education for all plan should not be able to
implement it for lack of resources.

     Finally, let me talk briefly about the digital divide.  The G-8
leaders will be discussing with the developing country heads of state
and members of the private sector how to create digital opportunity for
the people of the developing world.

     Information technology holds great promise, not only for economic
opportunity, but also for improving access to health care and to
education in poor and remote areas.  It's worth noting that of the
estimated 332 million people on line, less than 1 percent live in
Africa.  That's about 2.7, 2.8 out of 700 million people.  Less than 5
percent of the computers connected to the Internet are in developing
countries.

     This is something where the President's experience in the domestic
context, on closing the domestic digital divide will be helpful as we
think about how to address the even more challenging problem of the
global digital divide.  He also will be harking back to his experiences
in India, where he observed a new mother getting information about how
to care for her baby on the Internet in a local community access site,
where he observed people getting their drivers licenses off the Internet
in Hyderabad, and also some of the world's leading entrepreneurs
functioning in India in a developing economy.

     This is an area where the administration has a long history.  In
fact, the Vice President called for a global information infrastructure
in a speech that he gave in Buenos Aires as far back as 1994.  The G-8
leaders will be releasing an Okinawa Charter on the global information
society, which we hope will commit to mobilize and coordinate both
public and private sector efforts to bridge the divide.  And we have
been working with private sectors and foundations to support it.

     That is the economic part of the agenda and, again, Jim will go
over the security and regional issues.  Let me speak briefly about the
schedule, before handing over to him.

     We arrive into Tokyo early in the afternoon on Thursday, where the
President will proceed to the Akasaka State Guest House for a bilateral
meeting with Prime Minister Mori.  From there, they will go into the
first-ever meeting with developing nations, in particular, with leaders
from -- Mbeki, from South Africa; Obasango, from Nigeria; Chuan, from
Thailand; and Bouteflika, from Algeria -- representing organizations
such as the G-7/E-7, NAM, OAU and the ASEANs.

     From that meeting they will they go into an expanded session to
talk about the development partnership for the 21st century, including
representatives of several multilateral institutions, as well as private
sector representatives.  I don't have a complete list at the moment of
the participants, but we do know that Gro Brundtland of the WHO will be
there, Mark Malloch Brown of UNDP, Jim Wolfensohn of the World Bank; and
several members of the private sector, including John Chambers of CISCO,
here in the United States, Vernon Ellis of Andersen International, Idei
of Sony and several others.

     From there the President travels on to Okinawa.  In the morning he
will tour and give remarks at the Cornerstone of Peace Park, which is a
memorial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II
and, in particular, the Battle of Okinawa.  It's situated on the cliffs
above the island's southernmost shore and is the location of the last
fighting of a very fierce battle, which I think Jim will give you some
more detail on.  The names of all of those who lost their lives in the
Battle of Okinawa, including those from Japan, Okinawa and the United
States are engraved on the granite walls in the park.

     He will go from there to the beginning of the G-7, G-8 with a G-7
session at the Conference Hall of the Bankoku Shinryokan Conference
Center.  That is a new conference center that was constructed precisely
for this purpose.  I believe the name of the convention center means
"bridging the nations."  And it includes, I believe, a bronze bell cast
in 1458 by the Ryukyku King which says that the Ryukyku Kingdom -- which
is Okinawa -- shall become the bridge between nations.  As you know,
Prime Minister Obuchi wanted the summit held here because of the
importance of Okinawa.

     Then, from there, he'll go into a bilateral meeting with President
Putin of Russia.  And from there to the G-8, the first formal session of
the G-8, the working dinner, which, again, will be held at the
Conference Center.

     On Saturday there is basically a working session of the G-8 all
day, at the Conference Center.  And then in the evening dinner will be
held, a social dinner will be held at Shuri Castle.  Shuri Castle is the
previous political and administrative center of the Ryukyku Kingdom.  It
was destroyed during the war and has subsequently been rebuilt and has
an example of traditional Okinawan architecture.

     We conclude on Sunday with a G-8 session in the morning and the
adoption of the communique.  I believe there is a bilateral with Prime
Minister Blair of the UK.  There is a farewell ceremony; I think it will
be a cultural dance that includes 150 Okinawan children.  And then the
President will visit Camp Foster, which is a Marine base on Okinawa.
And, again, Jim will give you greater detail on that.

     Thank you.

     MR. STEINBERG:  Thank you, Lael.  I think this is a first in
briefing room experience, of the sherpa and the ex-sherpa briefing on
the upcoming events.

     Let me say a word about the security and foreign policy part of the
agenda for the G-8 meeting, and then I'll talk a little bit about both
the Okinawa/Japan bilaterals and the other meetings that the President
will have during the trip.

     As veteran G-8 watchers know, the first dinner Friday night is
dedicated to the foreign policy issues.  And as often happened in the
past, the sort of event of the day is the normal fare on the menu.
We've had issues in the past involving Bosnia and the Indian nuclear
test and such.

     This year there is no one single issue that I think is going to
dominate the agenda, unless we have some dramatic events between now and
Friday.  But it does give the leaders an opportunity to discuss a
broader range of national security related issues.  In particular, I
think this year there will continue to be a focus on nonproliferation
and particularly an effort to get G-8 support for the recently concluded
bilateral agreement between the United States and Russia on plutonium
disposition.

     That agreement, which was reached when the President was in Moscow,
is backed up by Congress having already $200 million here in the United
States and we're seeking a similar amount in the year to come.  But we
need support from the other G-8 countries -- Japan, in particular, has
been supportive in the past and we look forward to support from others.

     Similarly, in the area of Russia's WMD stocks, we would like to see
some further progress in the G-8 countries helping Russia deal with the
problem and the expenses associated with Russia's destruction of its
chemical weapons stocks.  And this is another opportunity for the G-8 to
work together towards that end.

     A second feature on the national security side which will be a
subject of discussion is in the area of conflict prevention.  Under the
efforts of the foreign ministers over the last year, there has been an
effort to deal with some of the kind of more persistent problems that
fuel conflicts around the world -- including small arms sales that fuel
conflicts, the need to develop a framework to allow the international
financial institutions to be effective and work in post-conflict
situations, focus particularly in the last six months to a year on the
problem of conflict diamonds, and the need to develop an effective
regime to prevent these from being a source of funding for rebel forces.

     And finally, a growing interest in the need to enhance the
international community's capacity to provide civilian police in
post-conflict situations.  It's a problem we've seen in many of the
peacekeeping operations that the United States has been involved in,
from Haiti to Bosnia to Kosovo, and the difficulty of getting
counterparts to our military peacekeepers to deal with the problem of
creating stability and security in these post-conflict environments.

     Finally, on the security agenda there will be a discussion on
terrorism, particularly strengthening the U.N. conventions on terrorism
and on funding and financial support for terrorists.

     In addition to these sort of functional issues, the leaders will
touch on a number of most important regional security problems,
including a broad-ranging discussion on the Balkans, the conflicts now
underway and the U.N. efforts to cope with them in Africa.  I'm sure the
President will be in a position to give them an update on his efforts
over the last week in Camp David on the Middle East peace process;
further discussions on the efforts to bring stability to South Asia and
to move down the path away from nuclear and missile spread there; and,
undoubtedly, some discussion of recent developments in North Korea,
which a number of the countries in the G-8 have considerable interest.

     Turning now to the bilateral piece of the President's trip, this
will be the President's third opportunity to meet with Prime Minister
Mori in a relatively short space of time.  In addition to the meeting
here, the President had a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister when
he went to Japan for the memorial service in honor of the late Prime
Minister Obuchi, and it's a real reflection of the continued importance
that the United States attaches to the U.S.-Japan relationship and the
efforts that both countries have made over the last eight years to
transform the relationship to reflect the new realities and the new
possibilities of the post-Cold War in East Asia.

     This is a relationship that is multifaceted, and in addition to
discussing security issues, they will -- security issues like Korea and
the Middle East peace process, where Japan has been a very important
financial contributor to efforts in that region -- we will discuss
broad-ranging global issues under the framework of our common agenda,
and a number of outstanding economic and trade issues.

     As Lael mentioned, one of the distinctive features of the summit
from the Japanese point of view was the decision to hold this summit in
Okinawa, and this provides President Clinton and the whole delegation an
opportunity to really reflect on the value that we attach to both Japan
generally, and the people of Okinawa to supporting our presence there.
And the visit of the President to the Peace Park, where he will talk
before a group of community leaders and representatives of the
community, will be an opportunity for him to address directly to the
Okinawan people the importance that we attach to the relationship and
the importance that we attach to developing strong human ties as
possible -- the goal of trying to have a good neighborly relationship
with the people in Okinawa.

     As Lael also said, the President will have two bilateral meetings
in the time that he is in Okinawa.  The first will be with Prime
Minister Putin.  This will build on the meetings that the President had
while he was in Moscow just a few months ago.  This, again, will be a
wide-ranging opportunity for the President to -- and the new President
of Russia, President Putin, to discuss the full range of their issues,
not only on issues of arms control, strategic stability and threat
reduction, but also the economic issues, regional security issues.  And
the President, I'm confident, will have an opportunity to raise some of
the concerns that he has on issues such as press freedom, the rule of
law, and Chechnya.

     The second bilateral will be with Prime Minister Blair.  This,
again, will be a wide-ranging agenda where I expect that they will touch
on Russia, the Balkans, the Middle East peace process, the progress that
we've made in Northern Ireland and our joint efforts in particular to
try to bring stability and peace to Sierra Leone.

     So with that, let me stop and bring Lael back up and take your
questions.

     Q    Jim, how significant do you expect national missile defense to
be an issue with the Prime Minister in view of the failure of the test?
And the foreign ministers last week said that they stress the importance
of maintaining the ABM treaty.  Do you read that as a criticism of NMD?

     MR. STEINBERG:  On the second, definitely not.  I think one of the
hallmarks of our approach to the whole question of national missile
defense is precisely that we are convinced that it is important to
maintain the ABM treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability.  But
the treaty, by its own terms, always contemplated the need to update it
to deal with changes in the strategic environment.

     And our argument, to the Russians and others, is to look at the
emerging threats, threats which the Russians themselves have
acknowledged in the joint statement that President Putin and President
Clinton issued in Moscow, and see that by making modest changes in the
ABM treaty we can address those emerging threats, at the same time
preserve the core importance of the ABM treaty -- in contrast to other
proposals for NMD, which would put the ABM treaty very much in jeopardy.
So we welcome that call by the foreign ministers.

     I think that -- I'm sure there will be discussion of NMD.  It's an
important topic.  The President, I'm sure, will want to take advantage
of having the leaders there to discuss the issues that are facing him
and the decision that he will be making in the coming weeks.  I think
that he will indicate that he is going to take into account the concerns
that have been addressed and all of the factors that we've previously
identified, the four basic variables of cost, threat, technical
feasibility and the impact on overall security, and continue an
important dialogue that he has had both individually and collectively
with the leaders over the last year or so.

     Q    Will he still say that he intends to make that decision?  Some
Democratic leaders are urging him not -- to let that go to his
successor.

     MR. STEINBERG:  Well, there is a little bit of a semantic thing.
He will make a decision whether to begin deployment next year.  Whether
he decides to do that or not is obviously of the options that available
to him.  But he will make a decision as to whether to go forward at this
time or not.

     Q    How do you think the President is going to -- alleged crime by
the serviceman stationed in Okinawa?  Is he going to talk about it in
the bilateral meeting with the President, or is he going to talk
directly to the people at Okinawa when he makes remarks?

     MR. STEINBERG:  Well, as I think you know, both our Ambassador to
Japan and the senior military commander have directly addressed that
case.  And I think that, more generally, the President is going to talk
about the importance that we attach to good neighborly relations with
the people of Okinawa, the responsibility that we feel to make sure that
we do everything possible to make that a positive arrangement.  And to
do what we need to do to make sure that the safety of the people, of the
Okinawans are assured.

     So I think in general terms he will address precisely his sense of
responsibility and gratitude to the people of Okinawa for doing what
they've done as part of our shared interest in providing stability for
the region.  Because our presence in Japan is not simply for the benefit
of the United States, but as I think the Japanese Government understands
very clearly, and has expressed very clearly, that this is something
that benefits all the people of the region.  So we want to find a way
together to address the concerns that the community has; to have a good
dialogue with the community about those things, but to understand that
we need to have a good strong shared basis for our continued presence
there.

     Q    What do you think is the impact of those incidents over the
President's visit to Japan this time around, especially in Okinawa?

     MR. STEINBERG:  Without commenting on any specifics, let me just
say that any time an incident arises it's regrettable and we do
everything that we can to try to remove the causes of that.  We want to
have a relationship where there are never any incidents of that type.
But the most important thing is to have a good dialogue, to have an
understanding with the community leaders so that if there are other
steps that they feel are useful to take that we can have those kinds of
discussions.  And I think that part of the exercise that all of the
services in Okinawa are now undergoing is precisely to review our
practices -- Secretary Cohen has asked for a review to see whether there
are other steps that need to be taken.  And we take this very seriously.

     Q    Will the President support efforts by some europeans -- and
Germany, in particular -- to get a clause in the final communique
warning Milosovic to -- hands off Montenegro?  And is this something of
a test for Putin, where he stands on this?  How he comes down on the
whole question of the Balkans?

     MR. STEINBERG:  Well, as I think you know, this was a subject of
discussion by the foreign ministers at their meeting in anticipation of
the leaders' meeting.  And I think that many of the G-8 countries,
particularly our NATO allies and ourselves are concerned about efforts
by Milosovic to destabilize the region, not only in Montenegro, but more
broadly.  And so, as I said, I expect both in the dinner meeting and in
the bilateral with President Putin that the issue of stability in the
Balkans will come up and the President will stress the importance that
we attach to maintaining the democratic government under Mr. Djukanovic.

     How that will be handled in the communique I think is always a
little bit unpredictable.  One of the lessons that I've learned from my
experience being there is that the discussions, particularly at the
evening dinner, are ones in which the leaders themselves like to kind of
take charge of and decide how they want to handle it in terms of their
public expression.  So it's a little hard for me to anticipate that.
But I'm quite sure that the issue specifically of the risks of actions
in Montenegro, and more generally about the concerns that we have about
Milosevic's continued destabilizing presence and the need to move on to
a real democratic government in Serbia is going to be a matter of
discussion.

     Q    And what about the read on Putin's position on this?  Is this
going to be considered a test of his "are you with us or against us"
sort of thing?

     MR. STEINBERG:  I think the argument that the President has made to
President Putin -- and they discussed this when the President was in
Moscow -- is that it is in our common interest to have a stable Balkans,
and that as long as Milosevic is there we will have instability.  And so
I think that what we will continue to impress on the Russians is the
fact that we have a common interest in seeing that kind of change there.
You look at the changes that are taking place throughout the region --
the installation of a truly democratic government in Croatia, the
positive impact that that's having, some of the changes that are taking
place in the political landscape in Bosnia -- and that Serbia remains
the most important source of instability.

     So it's not simply a test for Putin, but it's the Russians'
understanding that it really is in their interest, as it is for all the
countries of Europe, to solve this problem and to have a solution which
brings greater stability.

     Q    The President said in his interview with the New York Daily
News about going to Japan -- he said that he hopes he will be able to go
and that he will give it his best shot.  This doesn't seem like a real
strong determination that he will go or that he has all intention of
going.  Do you get a growing sense that the President may miss a day or
the entire G-8 summit because of the Middle East peace talks?

     MR. STEINBERG:  I think Joe spoke to that earlier this morning, and
I think that I can't really improve on what he's had to say, so I'll
leave it there.

     Q    Do you expect the President to speak to the other countries
present about their financial support for U.N. peacekeeping missions,
and possibly for financial support towards any settlement that might
come out of the Mideast peace talks?

     MR. STEINBERG:  We certainly -- the issue of funding for the U.N.
and for peacekeeping missions has been a common topic.  As you can tell
from the agenda that I've described, they're going to -- it's going to
be hard to get all of these things in.  But I think, particularly in the
context of African peacekeeping, that there may well be some discussion
about how to mobilize the resources that we need to have.  It's
certainly something that we feel very strongly about and are very
concerned by some of the appropriations bills now pending before
Congress, which do not fully fund our obligations under peacekeeping.
And I think the President will make clear that we take that very
seriously and are going to judge those appropriations bills in part by
how they do on that.

     I think that, more broadly on the peace process, it's just
premature to say where we'll be at that process.  But I would simply
note that both the EU and Japan have in the past been generous
contributors to aspects of the peace process in the Middle East and we
would certainly very much hope and expect that they would continue to
be.

     Q    Jim, is it difficult for the President to participate in
discussions on debt relief when Congress hasn't fully funded our
responsibilities under that?

     MS. BRAINARD:  The President, I believe, will actually want very
much to talk about debt relief because this is a very high personal
priority for him.  In particular, I think they'll want to review
progress that's been made over the course of the year.  Nine countries
have qualified over the course of this year.  They're expected to
receive about $16 billion in debt reduction and will be saving about $90
million per year on debt service payments, and as many as 20 countries
may actually qualify by the end of this year.

     I want to give you an example or two on how this money is being
used, because I think it is exactly how we were hoping it would be used.
In Mozambique, even after the floods, expenditures on education and
health care are going to increase from 31 percent of current
expenditures to over 35 percent, an increase of $45 million.  And the
debt to service export ratio is going to be about 2.5 percent, a very
large decline over the previous 20 percent.  Similarly -- I'll give you
another example -- Honduras is going to save about $130 million a year
and is going to use the debt relief monies to hire a thousand new
teachers, buy medicines and hospital equipment, and provide low-income
housing.

     On the funding front, as you may recall from last year, this was a
top priority for the President.  It came down to a real appropriations
fight at the very end of the year and we were able to fund the bilateral
portion.  The House vote last week suggests that we may be making
headway, and we will continue to push very, very hard to fund the
multilateral portion of HIPC.

     Q    Do you expect any recriminations from the other leaders over
the fact that, despite your efforts, the full funding has not been
forthcoming?

     MS. BRAINARD:  I think the leaders all recognize that the President
is a leader on the debt relief issue.  He led with the announcement of
100-percent bilateral debt relief, for instance.  The rest of the G-8 is
now on board for that, so I actually expect those discussions to be very
positive and a lot of agreement in the room about what needs to be done
to move forward on that.

     Q    Are you expecting the two countries will be able to resolve
the trade dispute over the NTT interconnection rates before the
bilateral talks in Tokyo?  If not, will the two leaders negotiate --
will there be talks in Tokyo?  And how would that affect a G-8
discussion on digital divide, IT and so on?  Now that the President is
busy brokering Middle East peace at Camp David, how much attention is he
paying to this particular issue?  Is he briefed on a daily basis on the
ongoing talks in Tokyo?

     MS. BRAINARD:  Well, it's not possible at this moment to predict
whether the negotiations will be finished.  The negotiations are
ongoing.  It's worth noting that the issue of NTT interconnection rates,
the rates that are charged to other telecommunications providers, is
going to be a very high visibility issue going into the summit.  I think
all of the G-7 have a similar view on this.  And it is very important
for Japan's bid to take the lead in the new economy, to have a new
economy summit.  This will be a very important signal.

     Just to give you some numbers so that you know what the
discrepancies are like, the rates now offered by NTT are between two to
five times higher than rates available elsewhere in the G-7.  The UK and
the U.S. are actually the lowest -- we've got these numbers in yen, but
let me just give you an example.  The UK is 1.74 versus 5.57, and the
gap is actually widening.  They're coming down further in Europe and in
the U.S.  So this

is critical for Japan's competitiveness, and I think that the Japanese
leadership understands that this is a big part of entering the new
economy.

     Q    Is the President paying attention to this issue now?

     MS. BRAINARD:  This is an issue that the President has raised with
Prime Minister Mori and with Prime Minister Obuchi before that.  So,
yes, this is an issue that's very much on his radar screen.

     Q    I was just wondering, you had mentioned that this is going to
be a very important issue and a good signal whether an agreement is
reached or not.  Do you think Japan can legitimately call this an IT
summit if they go into the summit without an agreement and without
having their own population able to connect into the Internet, you know,
economically?

     MS. BRAINARD:  Well, I think the agenda that Japan has set for the
summit, with our strong support, will be very strong in the area of the
information economy, both on the kinds of policies that the G-7
countries themselves must take to ensure that information technology is
widely disseminated and widely accessible in their own economies; and
also, as we were discussing earlier, to close the global digital divide.

     So I think that the summit will be a strong IT summit.  And I also
think that is very important for Japan as it moves forward on this new
technology to address the issue of the inter-connection rates.

     Q    Will the President be supporting the initiative that Prime
Minister Mori made on Saturday to pledge exact dollar figures to bridge
the global digital divide while he's there?

     MS. BRAINARD:  There will be, I believe, a number of outcomes that
will be supportive of the efforts to address the digital divide, as well
as the education and health divides.  And we're very much welcome
initiatives by members of -- other members of the G-7, such as Japan, on
each of these things, as well as initiatives, efforts on the part of the
private sector and on the part of the multilateral organizations.  This
is really a summit at which the G-8 leaders will be talking about how to
coordinate a response from all the many actors that have a role to play.

     Q    Just a follow-up.  You had mentioned earlier that the White
House had been working with some private organizations about putting
forth some deliverables on that.  Could you just be a little bit more
specific?  What exactly are you guys --

     MS. BRAINARD:  In this area we have had a private sector group very
engaged in looking at what the key obstacles many developing countries
face in making full use of information technology to advance their
development objectives.  And the private sector has been looking at
initiatives that individual companies can make and that they can make
cooperatively.  We're not ready to talk yet about those initiatives.  I
think the private sector participants are still working on how they can
be supportive of this effort.

     But their participation is absolutely critical.  The private sector
has led on the information revolution and we see them as a really key --
perhaps the key element in closing the digital divide.

     Q    Are you aware, has there been any conversations with the
Japanese or any of the other leaders about the possibility that the
President might miss, might be delayed -- any contingency plans made for
his arriving late or maybe not coming at all?

     MR. STEINBERG:  Let me just say, Terry, and I will reiterate.  I
really can't improve on what Joe said.  But I'm unaware of any specific
conversations with any other governments.

     Q    Do you expect any improvement, progress, or even an conclusion
of the negotiations over host nation support deal with Japan, over this
--

     MR. STEINBERG:  I have a parallel answer to Lael's answer on NTT
interconnection, which is that we are having ongoing discussions.  Under
Secretary Slocumb, I believe, is in Japan as we speak.  And this is an
important issue to both countries.  And we are very hopeful that we can
get a good resolution of that.

     Q    Jim, the First Lady is not going to Okinawa, we all know why/
But is it unusual for the First Lady not to go to a G-7/G-8 summit?

     MR. STEINBERG:  My understanding is that a number of the spouses
will not be present, so I don't think it's unusual.  And it's certainly
-- my experience in past ones is that some have come and some have not.
So I think it's a mixed bag.

     Q    President Putin is meeting President Clinton after meeting
Jiang Zemin and Kim Chong-il.  Is there anything about what President
Clinton will do with the Korean issues with President Putin?

     MR. STEINBERG:  Well, I think both of these meetings are welcome.
I think that we welcome Russia taking an interest in the issues of
regional security.  We very much hope and expect that when President
Putin meets with Kim Chong-il that he will reiterate the message that
the rest of the international community is giving, which is, one, to
welcome the steps towards reconciliation between North and South, and to
encourage North Korea to take steps to deal particularly with its
missile program, both its export of missile technology and its
indigenous missile program.  And I think that if President Putin wants
to make a positive contribution, this is a real opportunity to use this
meeting, and similarly, in his discussions with President Jiang, to
support efforts to reduce tensions in the region, particularly on the
Korean Peninsula.

     Q    He will surely raise the issue of NMD, national missile
defense system.  What can the E-7 do with that?

     MR. STEINBERG:  Well, again, I think that the most constructive
thing that President Putin can do on the issue of NMD is to encourage
the government of North Korea to engage with us in the missile talks, to
reach some resolution on the two aspects of North Korea's missile
program that we're concerned about, because our interest in and the
potential need for NMD is very much driven by missile developments.  We
welcome the fact that North Korea has a moratorium on missile testing,
but its program still continues.  And if the Russians, as I think, share
our view that this is potentially a matter of concern, we very much hope
that they'll transmit that message.

     Q    Jim, on NMD, since the President's meeting with President
Putin, have you seen any hint whatsoever of softening in the Russian
position or the Russian objection on adapting ABM?  And, secondly, do
you expect any significant progress on the rest of the arms control
agenda in this meeting?

     MR. STEINBERG:  Well, I expect that the two Presidents are going to
discuss the full range of issues, which include defenses, offensive
reductions, and cooperation between our two countries.  I think it's a
very important part of the agenda that they set out in Moscow, and we
will be continuing to look for ways to make further progress and
cooperation.  I'm not in the predictions business, so I don't know
whether we'll have anything specific coming out of this.  But as I said
earlier, I noted that just recently President Putin once again
acknowledged that there is some basis for our concerns.  And we hope
that that will translate into some common understanding.

     Q    Is it the intention to announce the E.U. carousel trade
sanctions before the President leaves for the summit?

     MS. BRAINARD:  We're continuing to review the comments from the
private sector, and I don't actually have information for you on
specifically when the list will be finalized for public release.

     Q    Thank you.

                           END 1:30 P.M. EDT