Tue, February 17, 2009
World > Asia-Pacific > Clinton kicks off Asian tour

Clinton, Nakasone agree to step up Japan-U.S. alliance

2009-02-17 06:49:11 GMT2009-02-17 14:49:11 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L, front) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone (R,front) after signing a new pact in Tokyo, Japan, Feb. 17, 2009. Clinton and Nakasone signed a new pact Tuesday on the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam, honoring the two allies' commitment to the 2006 road map on realigning U.S. forces in Japan.

TOKYO, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone agreed Tuesday to "step up the bilateral alliance" to tackle various global issues.

"The alliance between the United States and Japan is a cornerstone of our foreign policy, as working together to deal with a multitude of issues not only in Asia and the whole world isthe top priority of the Obama administration," Clinton said at a joint press conference after their meeting.

Clinton said the meeting with Nakasone "ranged across the world", covering economic challenges, clean energy and climate change, coordination on abductee and denuclearization issues of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The two sides also signed a new pact on the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

"The agreement reflects a commitment to modernize our posture in Asia-pacific. It reinforces the core of our alliance, the mission to ensure defense of Japan against attack and to deter anyattack by any necessary means," Clinton said.

"Our two countries share contributions in realignment of our forces and the relocation of marines from Okinawa to Guam. This isone more example of the strong and vibrant cooperation we enjoy," she added.

As a "further evidence of strong Japan-U.S. alliance", Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso will visit Washington for a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Feb. 24 at Obama's invitation, the first foreign leader invited for a meeting with Obama, Nakasone said.

He also said they decided to further strengthen partnership and policy coordination in addressing global issues, vowing to "consult each other anytime."

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