Clinton assures Japan on islands, invites Abe to U.S. in February

19 Jan
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United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right) gestures during a joint news conference with Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida after their meeting at the State Department in Washington on Jan 18, 2013. Mrs Clinton assured Japan on Friday of US support in Tokyo’s dispute with Beijing over a string of islands. — PHOTO: REUTERS

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assured Japan on Friday of U.S. support in Tokyo’s dispute with Beijing over a string of islands and invited new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Washington in late February for a meeting with President Barack Obama.

 Mrs. Clinton held a working lunch with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and both emerged pledging that U.S.-Japan security and economic ties would remain strong following Abe’s landslide election victory last month.

“Our alliance with Japan remains the cornerstone of American engagement with the region,” Clinton told reporters, noting a wide range of cooperation on everything from disaster relief to the stand-off over nuclear North Korea.

Tensions over the tiny islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, have flared in recent months, one of several maritime territorial disputes involving China that have worsened as Washington seeks to shift its security focus to Asia.

Source: Reuters.

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