TODAY, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will begin his week-long Southeast Asian tour, starting with the Philippines. He is scheduled to proceed to Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
The Prime Minister has gained popular and international approval because of his determined efforts to introduce reforms in his country's economy. Turning 60 years old only yesterday, January 8, he comes from a distinguished line of public servants. His grandfather was Minister of Posts and Telecommunications and Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives. His father was Minister of Defense.
Prime Minister Koizumi's visit to Southeast Asia is timed with the 25th anniversary of the "Fukuda Doctrine.'' When the Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda came to the Philippines in 1977, he enunciated a policy of forging closer ties with Southeast Asia through a "heart-to-heart'' partnership based on peace and equality. The Fukuda Doctrine ushered in more development cooperation and educational exchange between Japan and Southeast Asia. …