US, Japan vow to resolve Okinawa base issue

The US and Japan pledged Tuesday to resolve differences over relocating a US military base on Okinawa, offering assurances that the dispute will not undermine the countries` decades-old alliance.

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today said that the relationship between the United States and Japan is not only testament to America`s engagement
in the region but is also an essential pillar of the Asia-Pacific security architecture.

"The alliance between the United States and Japan is a cornerstone of America`s engagement in the region and an essential pillar of the Asia-Pacific security architecture,"
Clinton told reporters in joint press availability with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada.

"It continues to underwrite regional stability and prosperity and enhances our own national security as well," Clinton said after the meeting at Honolulu in Hawaii.

This was the third meeting between the two leaders.

Okada said the US alliance is important for its own security and for peace and stability of Asia-Pacific region.

Apart from the bilateral alliance, Okada said the two leaders also discussed global issues.

"We discussed Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, and also global warming, nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, Myanmar, etc," Okada said.

"The mere fact that these diverse issues came up in our discussions I think is a testament to the importance of our Japan-US alliance, and that it is meaningful under this alliance for our two countries to discuss these various issues," he added.

Clinton said the two countries were working together to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

"From reconstruction efforts in Iraq, to combating piracy off the Horn of Africa, to significant economic assistance to Afghanistan, Japan is providing crucial contributions to global security and stability," she said.

The US Secretary of State mentioned Japan`s role in helping the people from Sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia to come out of poverty

"Bilaterally and through multilateral organisations such as the G-20, APEC, and others, the United States and Japan have worked to respond to the global financial crisis to start
rebuilding the world economy and put in place necessary financial reforms," Clinton said.

Last month in Copenhagen, the US and Japan had joined together with other partners to reach an agreement that represents a meaningful step forward in the global commitment
to combat climate change, she said.

"Now we have to work to operationalise the accord and to put in effect all of the effective ideas for us to combat this global challenge," she said.

Through this partnership, the two nations seek to ensure that Asia`s evolving multilateral organisations are inclusive, transparent and solutions-oriented, she said.
"A strong US-Japan alliance is not only consistent with robust Asia-Pacific multilateralism; it is crucial to its success. For decades, our security guarantees have provided the stability needed to grow the region`s economies and diplomatic structures, and we are committed to building a strong foundation for the 21st century," she said.
Both the countries would continue to work together for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula within the framework of the Six-Party Talks, she added, while referring to stories of the
abducted families whom she had earlier met in Japan.