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U.S.-Japanese Relationship Benefits Asia-Pacific

U.S. President Barack Obama, center, reviews an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Facing fresh questions about his commitment to Asia, Obama will seek to convince Japan's leaders Thursday that he can deliver on his security and economic pledges, even as the crisis in Ukraine demands U.S. attention and resources elsewhere. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, Pool)

In late April, U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Japan on the first State visit by a U.S. President in 18 years.

In late April, U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Japan on the first State visit by a U.S. President in 18 years. The trip underscored his Administration’s continued focus on the Asia Pacific region, and emphasized one of the U.S.’s most important alliances in the world.

The United States and Japan fought bitterly during the Second World War but have become the closest of allies.

Our two countries are closely aligned economically, not only as trading partners, but also as members of global and regional institutions such as the G-7 and G-20, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the World Trade Organization.

The wide array of U.S.-Japanese collaboration includes both international challenges from Iran to Ukraine to global development assistance as well as key regional issues.

The U.S.-Japan Alliance also plays an indispensable role in maintaining regional security, deterring conflict and ensuring stability. The first article of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America specifies that the two countries “settle any international disputes in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered,” and to refrain from the threat or use of force against any state.

The United States and Japan abide by this principle. “We stand together in calling for disputes in the region, including maritime issues, to be resolved peacefully through dialogue,” said President Obama during his visit:

“All of us have responsibilities to help maintain basic rules of the road and an international order so that large countries, small countries, all have to abide by what is considered just and fair, and that we are resolving disputes in peaceful fashion.”

“The United States is and always will be a Pacific nation. America’s security and prosperity is inseparable from the future of this region, and that’s why I’ve made it a priority to renew American leadership in the Asia Pacific” said President Obama. “And the cornerstone of our strategy -- and the foundation of the region’s security and economic progress -- is our historic treaty alliances, including with Japan.”