Spokane Spokesman-Review takes note of the silver price suppression issue

Section:

The Star, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Thursday, June 3, 2004

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?
file=/2004/6/3/nation/8124886&sec=nation

TOKYO -- Japan should stop trying to prop up the U.S.
dollar and instead make the yen the trading currency
of East Asia, said Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

While noting that it was understandable for Japan to
continue to shore up the U.S. currency because it
holds a lot of dollars in reserve, the former Malaysian
prime minister warned that it could not "go on forever."

"The United States must maintain the value of its
currency by reducing its huge deficit and living within
its means.

"Whatever Japan does, its yen is bound to appreciate
against the US dollar.

"What it means is that Japanese goods have become
expensive for southeast Asia. They cannot compete
with some American goods, but more significantly with
Chinese goods.

"This is not healthy. This is the result of using the U.S.
dollar as a trading currency and valuing other currencies
against it," said Dr. Mahathir in a speech entitled "East
Asia Community and the Role of Japan" at Keio
University here yesterday.

The university had earlier bestowed an honorary
doctorate of law on him.

Dr. Mahathir suggested that the Japanese currency be
used to replace the U.S. dollar as the trading currency
for East Asia and in return the region agreed on a trading
currency backed by gold.

"East Asian countries need not have an East Asian
currency for domestic use as the euro is in the European
Union. To give it reference value against currencies of
countries of East Asia, we can base the East Asia
Trading Currency on gold."

"Gold can fluctuate in value in any currency but the
fluctuation would never be very wide," he said, adding
that such a trading currency would be more stable
than the U.S. dollar, euro, and even the yen.

Dr. Mahathir also touched on the need for East Asia to
unite as Europe had done with the formation of the
European Union after centuries of going to war against
each other.

"We must learn from Europe, from France and Germany.
We must all admit our mistakes, not hide them or
ignore the past as if it did not happen.

"We must admit that it happened and that we are truly
sorry that it did. Having done that, we must look at the
present and the future and work for the betterment of
our life together," he added.

Saying Asian countries that have suffered from invasion
and war must be realistic, Dr. Mahathir said demands
for reparations and apologies must stop.

This was in reference to constant calls by countries
invaded by Japan during the Second World War for
compensation to victims and for Japan to apologise for
the atrocities committed then.

"If France and Germany can seemingly forget and
forgive, East Asian countries too must learn to forget
and forgive. It will be very difficult. It will be
painful. It will take time.

"But we cannot forever allow the past to shackle us,
to stop our progress. The baggage of history must be
left behind," Dr. Mahathir said.

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