Viewing cable 06TOKYO7143
Title: UPDATE ON MOFA'S ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC DATA

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06TOKYO71432006-12-27 07:00:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tokyo
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKO #7143/01 3610700
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270700Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9397
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 3941
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1946
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 0995
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 4229
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 1764
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0910
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 8249
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 9540
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 5210
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1408
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 6839
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0947
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 6270
UNCLAS TOKYO 007143 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
PARIS FOR USOECD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: APEC OECD JA
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON MOFA'S ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC DATA 
COLLECTION INITIATIVE 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY. 
 
¶1. (SBU)  Summary: MOFA continues to plug away at its 
regional economic data collection and analysis proposal (aka 
EiSMAP, the Economic Information Sharing Mechanism of the 
Asia-Pacific), having secured a USD six figure budget line 
item for the project in the draft GOJ FY-2007 budget.  MOFA 
hopes to set up a working group to design EiSMAP in the 
spring of 2007, drawing from the attendees at its 
organizational conference in Kyoto in November 2006.  MOFA 
will push the concept within APEC beginning at the Senior 
Officials Meeting in Canberra in January 2007 and plans to 
open a pilot web portal by the end of the year.  Kyoto 
University professor Takeuchi has become MOFA's point person 
for the initiative.  End Summary. 
 
¶2. (SBU)  EMIN spoke on December 26, 2006, with Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs (MOFA) OECD Division Director Tsusumi 
regarding MOFA's efforts to create an "economic information 
sharing mechanism of the Asia-Pacific" (EiSMAP).  Since the 
initial November 2006 organizational meeting in Kyoto hosted 
by MOFA and Kyoto University see below), Japan succeeded in 
placing a note on EiSMAP in the November 2006 APEC joint 
statement ("ministers noted Japan's proposal to promote 
information sharing for sustainable growth of the Asia 
Pacific economy in a more accurate, speedier, and 
user-friendly way").  Tsusumi reported that in the draft GOJ 
budget for FY-2007 agreed last week, MOFA secured more than 
USD 100,000 to support EiSMAP activities in the coming fiscal 
year.  Kyoto professor Takeuchi, designated as the GOJ's 
point person on EiSMAP, is currently visiting Seoul to drive 
up ROK support and interest, and will similarly visit 
Malaysia and IMF headquarters in Washington in the near 
future. 
 
¶3. (SBU)  For 2007, Tsusumi noted that MOFA hopes to 
establish a working group to design the project this spring, 
have a pilot web portal open by the second half of the year, 
and host a follow-up organizational conference, again in 
Kyoto, perhaps in October.  In addition, MOFA reps will be 
pushing EiSMAP as an APEC undertaking at the APEC Senior 
Officials Meeting in Canberra in January 2007.  Tsusumi 
reported that MOFA is running into opposition to do so from 
Australia and New Zealand due to their commitment to 
re-orient APEC work towards policy rather than additional 
statistical work.  Finally, Tsusumi said MOFA will redouble 
efforts to engage China in the coming year.  Representatives 
of China dropped out of the November 2006 Kyoto EiSMAP 
conference at the last minute due to Beijing's unhappiness 
with Taiwanese participation. 
 
¶4. (U)  As reported earlier via email, MOFA jointly hosted 
with Kyoto University on November 5-7, 2006, in Kyoto a 
conference on EiSMAP.  MOFA Economic Bureau DG Ishikawa and 
Kyoto professor Takeuchi chaired the proceedings.  Twelve 
countries, four IOs and one economy (Taiwan) were 
represented.  China cancelled at the last minute. 
Representatives from the statistical bureaus of the IMF, ADB, 
IBRD attended, as did the head of the U.S. East-West Center, 
other regional research institutes, and those with long 
experience in the region, including Canada's PECC chair and 
its senior MFA economic policy official. 
 
¶5. (U)  During the Kyoto meeting, delegates from across the 
spectrum expressed skepticism regarding the proposal's 
objectives; the ability to gather reliable, meaningful, 
accountable data not already collected by other agencies or 
services; the ability to present or process the data to add 
value; the availability of donors to provide the necessary, 
significant resources, including for capacity building; the 
ability of Japan or others to sustain the project over the 
medium/long term; and noted concern that the project could 
harm similar programs or networks already underway.  That 
said, delegates acknowledged that there are serious 
qualitative and quantitative shortcomings in the data 
produced in Asia that have the potential to mislead 
 
policymakers and investors, or contribute to nasty spillovers 
in the event of an economic or environmental crisis in the 
area. 
 
¶6. (U)  As such, with Japan offering to seek to commit 
resources to a pilot program (for now, just a web-based 
portal) and to manage a task force over the coming year to 
further define the project, delegates agreed that (as one put 
it) there might be a kernel of an idea that deserved support. 
 EMIN pushed hard that any undertaking or commitment of 
resources be done via APEC. 
 
¶7. (U)  The chair's statement can be found on MOFA's website 
at www.mofa.go.jp/policy/economy/asia/eismap0611 .html. 
DONOVAN