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The United States aims to strengthen its nearly 50-year alliance with Japan, as part of an ongoing effort to deepen engagement in Asia, said U.S. President Barack Obama, during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
Calling their relationship a "foundation for security and prosperity" for the Asia-Pacific region, President Obama said the two countries will seek new ways to revitalize the alliance and refresh it for the 21st Century:
Obama: "I intend to make clear that the United States is a Pacific nation ... the United States will strengthen our alliances, build new partnerships, and we will be part of multilateral efforts and regional institutions that advance regional security and prosperity. We have to understand that the
future of the United States and Asia is inextricably linked."
Economic growth, job creation, nonproliferation, and clean energy are among the issues the 2 nations will continue to work together on, said President Obama. He also thanked the people of Japan and Prime Minister Hatoyama for commitments of five billion dollars over the next 5 years toward civilian efforts in Afghanistan and one billion dollars for Pakistan.
Japan is an ally in building an international consensus to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. It stands with the U.S., said President Obama, in the effort against nuclear proliferation:
"We discussed both North Korea and the situation in Iran, recognizing that it's absolutely vital that both countries meet their international obligations. If they do, then they can open the door to a better future. If not, we will remain united in implementing U.N. resolutions that are in place and continuing to work in an international context to move towards an agenda of nonproliferation."
As part of this effort, the U.S. and Japan issued a joint statement calling for a "world without nuclear weapons."
Climate change and economic stability are also issues the 2 countries will work together on. President Obama said Japan and the U.S. will work to pave the way for a successful outcome to the Copenhagen conference on climate change next month and will discuss cooperation that will help rebalance the world economy.