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U.S. - Japan Alliance Remains Cornerstone


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) holds a joint news conference with Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida after their meeting at the State Department in Washington, January 18, 2013.

Regarding the Senkaku islands, Secretary Clinton reiterated the U.S. desire to see the parties peacefully resolve the matter through dialogue.

“Our alliance with Japan remains the cornerstone of American engagement in the region,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during remarks with Japan’s recently appointed Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

During their luncheon meeting, Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Kishida discussed regional security. Regarding the Senkaku islands, Secretary Clinton reiterated the U.S. desire to see the parties peacefully resolve the matter through dialogue:

“We applaud the early steps taken by Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe’s government to reach out and begin discussions.

The United States does not take a position on the sovereignty of the islands, though it acknowledges Japanese administration and opposes unilateral action that would undermine it, said Secretary Clinton:

“We do not want to see any action taken by anyone that could raise tensions or result in the miscalculations that would undermine peace, security, and economic growth in this region.”

The two diplomats also discussed their joint commitment to strong action by the United Nations Security Council in response to North Korea’s December 12 launch using ballistic missile technology.

And, Secretary Clinton reiterated U.S. support in Japan’s efforts to return Japanese citizens who have been abducted by North Korea.

Ways to strengthen the alliance were also discussed. The United States will work toward lessening the impact of its military on host communities through base realignment. Japan will consider participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a regional free trade agreement being negotiated by the United States and 10 Asia-Pacific nations. And, Japan’s Diet will consider the Hague Abduction Convention that allows parents to seek resolution when a child is internationally abducted by the other parent.

The United States has invited Japan’s newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to come to the U.S. to meet with President Barack Obama in February, when these and many other issues will be discussed.

“I want to thank the people of Japan,” said Secretary Clinton, “For their partnership and commitment to this alliance.”
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