Saturday, February 23, 2013
Abe Sees Robust Japan Enhancing Alliance With U.S.
WASHINGTON (Nikkei)--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed the bilateral alliance with the U.S. in his first summit meeting with President Barack Obama on Friday before going on to outline initiatives Japan is undertaking to become a stronger partner.
The two leaders discussed how they can work together to respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile development, as well as China's military and maritime expansion.
After the meeting, Abe delivered a speech in English, titled "Japan Is Back," at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The prime minister emphasized the need for Japan to stay strong to work alongside the U.S. in providing the world with "more rule of law, more democracy, more security, and less poverty."
He also touched on key regional issues, including the tensions with China over the Senkaku Islands, as well as North Korea's nuclear development.
On the Senkakus, Abe stated that "history and international law both attest that the islands are Japan's sovereign territory."
He also stressed that the nation simply cannot tolerate any challenge to its sovereignty over the islands now or in the future, warning that no country should underestimate Japan's firm resolve.
At the same time, the prime minister described Japanese relations with China as "among the most important" and promised that his doors will always be open for the Chinese leaders.
Describing North Korea's nuclear ambitions as intolerable, Abe said Japan would seek to resolve the issue through cooperation with the U.S., South Korea and others.
On the economic front, Abe explained his three-arrowed economic booster plan, entailing the bold, simultaneous engagement of monetary, fiscal and economic growth policies. He also shared his vision of revitalizing the Japanese economy through enhanced productivity and structural reform.
Furthermore, the prime minister pledged that Japan will play a leading role in promoting rules for trade, investment, intellectual property, labor, the environment and other fields in the increasingly prosperous area stretching from the Indian subcontinent to the Asia-Pacific region.