Wed, February 18, 2009
World > Asia-Pacific > Hillary Clinton kicks off Asian tour

U.S secretary of state calls on Japan to play bigger role in UN peacekeeping operations

2009-02-17 14:03:50 GMT2009-02-17 22:03:50 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TOKYO, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Japan Tuesday to play a greater role in United Nations-sponsored peacekeeping operations, Kyodo News reported, citing defense ministry officials.

During talks with Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, Clinton said she wanted to "encourage" deeper engagement by Japan in such operations, said the report.

She also voiced her hope that Japan could protect foreign ships in emergencies after dispatching destroyers on anti-piracy mission off Somalia in early March.

Earlier Tuesday Clinton and Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone held talks and agreed to cement bilateral alliance to tackle various global issues, and signed a new pact on the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

The U.S. secretary of state arrived here Monday for a three-day visit on her inaugural overseas trip. She is scheduled to conclude her first leg of the four-nation Asian tour on Wednesday before traveling to Indonesia, South Korea and China.

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