Reaffirming that alliance with Japan remains the cornerstone of American engagement in Asia, the United States in America and Japan today strengthened bilateral relationship in the 21st century.
In her remarks with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida after their meeting, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she recognized that America needed to reengage in the region where much of the history of the 21st century is being and will be written.
“As I said when I arrived in Tokyo, our alliance with Japan remains the cornerstone of American engagement in the region.” – Ms. Clinton
According to Ms. Clinton, after four years and many more trips across the Pacific, both countries enjoy unprecedented collaboration.
Both countries address regional issues from North Korea to those in ASEAN and meet global challenges together from Afghanistan to Iran, and worked to respond to the earthquake and tsunami.
“Our people have stood side by side, and we have strengthened this alliance which has endured for more than six decades.” – Ms. Clinton
In her remarks, Ms. Clinton says so as her time as Secretary of State comes to an end, she thanked the people and leaders of Japan for their partnership and commitment to this alliance.
According to Ms. Clinton, she had a final opportunity to discuss the countries many shared concerns.
She says they had a broad-based, comprehensive discussion.
On North Korea, Ms. Clinton says both countries shared joint commitment to strong action in the UN Security Council.
She says she also assured the Foreign Minister that they would continue to support Japan’s efforts to return Japanese citizens who have been abducted by the DPRK.
With regard to regional security, Ms. Clinton reiterated longstanding American policy on the Senkaku Islands and US treaty obligations.
Ms. Clinton explains that although the United States does not take a position on the ultimate sovereignty of the islands, the US government acknowledges they are under the administration of Japan and the US opposes any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration.
“We urge all parties to take steps to prevent incidents and manage disagreements through peaceful means.” – Ms. Clinton
According to Ms. Clinton, both countries also discussed how they can do more to strengthen their already strong alliance.
She says both countries discussed base realignment issues. Both want to reduce the impact of their bases on host communities while maintaining the ability to defend Japan’s territory and people and preserve stability and security.
“We are confident that we can make progress on force realignment in Okinawa, including moving ahead with construction of the Futenma replacement facility.” – Ms. Clinton
Both countries also discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and we shared perspectives on Japan’s possible participation.
Ms. Clinton states that both parties also covered an issue important to both of two nations’ people, the Hague Abduction Convention that allows parents to seek a lawful, timely, and just resolution when a child is abducted by the other parent.
“And we hope that there will be action in the upcoming session of the Diet to pass the necessary legislation.” – Ms. Clinton
After the meeting, Ms. Clinton also announced that the US government has extended an invitation to Prime Minister Abe to come to Washington to meet with President Obama in the third week of February.
“And there will be a lot of work to do between now and then to ensure that this high-level summit is extremely successful for both of our governments and our nations.” – Ms. Clinton
U.S.-Japan relations are in excellent shape and both countries are looking forward to strong progress on a range of issues in 2013.
United States and Japan are deeply engaged with the Pacific Islands Forum as well.
Both coutries also reaffirmed alliance on the areas of security, not only the Asia-Pacific region but around the world.
On May 28, 2010, the members of the United States-Japan Security Consultative Committee (SCC) reconfirmed that, in the 50th anniversary year of the signing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, the U.S.-Japan Alliance remains indispensable not only to the defense of Japan, but also to the peace, security, and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.
In this regard, the United States reiterated its unwavering commitment to Japan’s security. Japan reconfirmed its commitment to playing a positive role in contributing to the peace and stability of the region.