The United States-Japan relationship has long been the cornerstone of regional peace and security in Asia.
The United States-Japan relationship has long been the cornerstone of regional peace and security in Asia. “We simply cannot achieve the goals that we want to achieve in that region or globally without ironclad guarantees between the United States and Japan, between our governments, and just as importantly, between our peoples,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when welcoming Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to Washington ahead of their bilateral meeting.
Last fall, the U.S. and Japan agreed to update their bilateral defense guidelines. Discussions continue on how to modernize the security alliance and set out a roadmap for decades to come. Among other things, it will help the U.S. and Japan continue to counter the threat posed by North Korea and address regional security challenges.
Secretary Kerry stressed that the United States remains committed to upholding its treaty obligations with Japan, including with respect to the East China Sea. “The United States neither recognizes nor accepts China’s declared East China Sea [Air Defense Identification Zone], and the United States has no intention of changing how we conduct operations in the region. We are deeply committed,” said Secretary Kerry, “to maintaining the prosperity and stability in the Asia Pacific, and that won’t be possible without respect for international law, including freedom of navigation and overflight as set out in the international Law of the Sea.”
Japan remains a critical trading partner for the United States and the United States welcomes Japan’s economic rejuvenation. Japanese businesses have long been a top investor in the U.S. economy, setting up corporate headquarters and stores and factories throughout the U.S. Every day, 650,000 people in the United States go to work for Japanese companies.
But there is still untapped potential for growth. The number one economic priority for both Japan and the United States is finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will help promote innovation, transparency, fairness, and a set of rules that raise the standards by which people do business.
Secretary Kerry concluded that with close cooperation on security issues, economic opportunities, a redoubled focus on human rights, a commitment to international rules of the road, and growing people-to-people ties, this could be a truly transformative year in the U.S.-Japan global partnership.