Starting in Tokyo, his first trip to Asia as Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson stressed that the U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone of stability in Northeast Asia and the Asia Pacific.
Japan and the United States have extremely deep economic ties, said Secretary Tillerson, "and we’ll keep working together to sustain and strengthen a relationship that is fair for both of our countries. We will work with Japan on shared regional and global objectives, including strong security cooperation within the U.S.-Japan alliance; affirming a rules-based approach to maritime governance; and deepening American, Japanese, and South Korean trilateral cooperation in the face of North Korea’s dangerous and unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile programs."
The longstanding U.S.-Japan alliance is devoted to peace, prosperity, and freedom in the Asia Pacific region."While the security environment in this region can be challenging," said Secretary Tillerson, "the United States is committed to strengthening our role, and we welcome an increased Japanese commitment to their roles and responsibilities in our alliance.”
The U.S. affirmed that Article 5 of the 1960 U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security covers the Senkaku Islands. "We oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of the Senkakus," said Secretary Tillerson.
Expanding U.S. trilateral cooperation with Japan and the Republic of Korea remains a priority as it will allow the three nations to coordinate actions on major regional and global problems, and more effectively counter the threats posed by North Korea.
The United States, said Secretary Tillerson, intends "to continue [its] coordination in regard to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 2270 and 2231, which imposed robust and comprehensive sanctions on North Korea to inhibit its campaign to develop operational nuclear and missile capabilities."
“Both the ROK and the United States have been quite clear over these 20 years, that we seek nothing but a stable Korean Peninsula and an economically prosperous Korean Peninsula,” said Secretary Tillerson."With this in mind, the United States calls on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and refrain from any further provocations."
"The U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan and its other treaty allies through the full range of our military capabilities," said Mr. Tillerson, "is unwavering."