Kan, Obama affirm Japan-US alliance: White House

The leaders agreed to follow accord reached by Hatoyama cabinet on US base.

Updated: Jun 06, 2010, 09:23 AM IST

Washington: Japan`s new Prime Minister Naoto Kan and US President Barack Obama held a telephone conversation in which they discussed "the many issues facing both nations" and the Japan-US alliance, the White House announced.

Obama on Saturday congratulated Kan on his election and shared with him "the conviction that the partnership and close ties between the United States and Japan greatly benefit the citizens of both nations and contribute significantly to stability and prosperity throughout the world," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

They "agreed to work very closely together to address the many issues facing both nations and the global community, including the challenges posed by North Korea and Iran" and looked forward to meeting at the upcoming G8 and G20 summits in Canada, he added.

The statement made no further reference to specific issues Obama and Ken touched on, but Japanese media said they affirmed ties strained by a row over a US base in Okinawa.

Jiji Press said that during the 15-minute call, Obama told Kan the two countries needed to strengthen co-operation based on their equal partnership.

Kan, a one-time leftist activist, agreed with Obama and added: "I recognise common points between the President`s activities as a community activist in the past and my political career based on citizens` activities."

The two leaders agreed to follow the accord reached by the Hatoyama cabinet on the relocation of the US base on Okinawa, the news reports said.