US diplomat: US-Japan pact vital in changing Asia

The top US diplomat for East Asia said that Washington and Tokyo need to make sure their security alliance is in good working order to cope with rapid changes in Asia.

Updated: Oct 06, 2010, 21:05 PM IST

Tokyo: The top US diplomat for East Asia said
today that Washington and Tokyo need to make sure their
security alliance is in good working order to cope with rapid
changes in Asia.

US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell also
praised Prime Minister Naoto Kan for demonstrating
"statesmanship" in his handling of a spat with China over
disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Campbell`s visit, to prepare for a trip by President
Barack Obama to Japan in November, comes as an increasingly
confident China expands its military and maritime activities
in disputed waters and North Korea pursues its nuclear and
missile programs.

"We`re living through a period of very consequential
developments, not just in Northeast Asia, but Asia as a whole,
and it`s extremely important that the US-Japan relationship
not be left behind, and that we focus attentively on the
changing security environment," Campbell told a small group of
reporters at the US Embassy.

"It is critical for this generation of American
policymakers to in no way take Japan for granted," he added.

Relations between Tokyo and Washington soured somewhat
earlier this year under Kan`s predecessor, who attempted to
move a controversial US Marine base out of Okinawa, contrary
to a previous agreement with Washington.

PTI

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