In the early 1990s, then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad proposed the establishment of an East Asian Economic Caucus
, but the idea was shelved mainly due to lack of support from Japan, which was reluctant to go against the United States, a strong opponent of the proposal.
Significantly, however, Mahathir's proposed grouping, the East Asian Economic Caucus
(EAEC), was frustrated by a combination of U.
Mahathir renewed his call on East Asian countries to support his proposal to set up an East Asian Economic Caucus
However, so far the Japanese Government has been reluctant to form a new in-group and has reacted very cautiously to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's proposal to form an East Asian Economic Caucus
(EAEC) that would exclude the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
In a joint press conference, Japanese Minister of International Trade and Industry Takashi Fukaya said the closer economic cooperation under the institutionalized framework of the ASEAN-plus-three nations is different from the East Asian Economic Caucus
(EAEC), which was proposed by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.