US, Japan share a strong partnership: Hillary Clinton
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 08:41
Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has termed America's alliance with Japan as the cornerstone of its strategic engagement throughout the Asia- Pacific which has helped safeguard the regional security.

"Japan and the United States share a strong and vibrant partnership. Our alliance helps safeguard regional security and is the cornerstone of US strategic engagement throughout the Asia-Pacific," Hillary Clinton told reporters at a joint press conference with the visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba.

This was Gemba's first bilateral trip to the US in this capacity.

The two leaders exchanged views on a wide range of bilateral and global issues, including North Korea, Burma, China and Afghanistan.

"We also exchanged views on global issues, including pressing challenges of Iran and Afghanistan, and confirmed that we will closely consult and cooperate with each other," the Japanese Foreign Minister said.

"During our discussion on Iran, specifically in relation to the National Defence Authorization Act, which targets the Central Bank of Iran, I conveyed my view that there is a danger of causing damage to the entire global economy if the imports of Iranian crude oil stop," he said.

"Let me emphasize that it is the solid foundation of the Japan-US relations that enable us to coordinate, cooperate and consult with each other closely.

Gemba said that he and Hillary Clinton have reaffirmed that both the countries would continue to implement the realignment of US forces stationed in Japan, including relocation of Futenma Air Station and relocation of the US Marine Corps from Okinawa to Guam in accordance with the Japan-US agreement.

"We also confirmed that with regard to the US budget for the relocation of the Marine Corps to Guam, the commitment of the US government to the implementation of the 2006 Japan-US road map is unchanged. I emphasized the importance of moving forward to lessen burden on Okinawa, and asked for cooperation from the United States," he said.

"On the economy, from the perspective of incorporating the economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region, which is a growth engine of the global economy, Japan decided to enter into consultations with the countries concerned who are participating in the TPP negotiations," Gemba said.


First Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 08:28

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