Obama discusses upcoming E Asia Summit with Japan



Obama discusses upcoming E Asia Summit with Japan Washington: US President Barack Obama and Japanese Premier Yoshihiko Noda held talks in Hawaii on the margins of the APEC meet and discussed a wide range of bilateral and global issues, including the upcoming East Asia Summit in Bali.

"The President and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had a good discussion on a range of issues, including APEC and the upcoming East Asia Summit, and next steps on (Marine Corps Air Station) Futenma relocation," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said last evening.

The leaders also talked about Japan's interest in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Noda noted that he had decided to begin consultations with TPP members, with an eye to joining the TPP negotiations.

"The President welcomed that important announcement and Japan's interest in the TPP agreement, noting that eliminating the barriers to trade between our two countries could provide a historic opportunity to deepen our economic relationship, as well as strengthen Japan's ties with some of its closest partners in the region," Carney said.

Obama noted that all TPP countries need to be prepared to meet the agreement's high standards, and welcomed Noda's statement that he would put all goods, as well as services, on the negotiating table for trade liberalisation.

After the meeting, Obama told reporters that the alliance between the US and Japan is the cornerstone of their relationship and is also vital for security in the Asia-Pacific region.

"I'm confident that working together we can continue to build on that relationship in the areas of commerce, the areas of security, in not only the Asia-Pacific region but around the world," he said.

Noda said: "I'm very much encouraged by the fact that America is increasing its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, and I do believe that Japan and the United States must work closely together to establish economic goals and also establish security order in this region."

Obama also had a separate meeting with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev and said Russia joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was good for both the countries.

During their meeting in Hawaii, the two leaders discussed a range of issues including Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.

"It focused on a number of security issues where the US and Russia have a significant interest. We discussed Afghanistan and our plan to transition, and the importance all the regional parties assisting the Afghan government in stabilising the country for the benefit of the Afghan people," Obama said during a joint press conference.

"We discussed Iran, and reaffirmed our intention to work to shape a common response so that we can move Iran to follow its international obligations when it comes to its nuclear programme," he said.

"We discussed a number of world trouble spots, including Syria," Obama said.

Obama said the invitation extended to Russia to join the WTO was a testament to the hard work of President Medvedev and his team.

"We believe this is going to be good for the United States, for the world, as well as for Russia, because it will provide increased opportunities for markets in which we can sell goods and products and services, as well as purchase good, products and services without some of the traditional barriers," he said.

"So we very much appreciate the cooperation and partnership that we forged around this issue. We think it's an example of the importance that both countries place on economic reform and economic growth," Obama said.

In his remarks, Medvedev said Russia has never received similar support from any previous administration, and this is probably the explanation of why the two countries have been acceding to the Organisation since 1993.

"As has been recognised just now, Russia's accession is good not only for Russia itself or for the US or other countries, but for the entire system of trade relations in the world," he said.

"Our global economy, global finance is surviving not the best of times. So the more coordinated actions we take, the less there are trade barriers. The clearer instructions we give to our trading ministries, the sooner we will be able to overcome recession, which, unfortunately, still continues globally. And the easier it will be to solve our unemployment, which remains our major problem," Medvedev said.

"This is why the summit of Asia Pacific region countries is of great importance, so that we can coordinate and integrate our ideas. I am sure that it will be very successful at the highest possible level, he said.

PTI