Vol. 5, No. 4 (February 20, 2009)
The opinions and materials contained herein do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Government of Japan.
In this issue
The Prime Minister Receives a Courtesy Call from
-Aso Cabinet Press
Prime Minister Taro Aso received a courtesy call from the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States, at the Prime Minister's Office.
At the beginning, Prime Minister Aso stated that he welcomes Secretary Clinton's visit to Japan and takes it as an indication of the Obama administration's stance of attaching importance to Japan. The Prime Minister also said that the Japan-US alliance is the cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy, expressing his intention to further strengthen the alliance together with President Obama and Secretary Clinton. In response, Secretary Clinton stated that the Japan-US alliance is the foundation of the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and that she hopes to further strengthen the alliance.
Prime Minister Aso expressed his appreciation for the invitation from President Obama and asked Secretary Clinton to...
Japan: A Cornerstone of U.S. Foreign Policy
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with
Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone
-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
and Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone
(February 17, 2009)
During Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent visit to Japan, she and Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone engaged in a frank exchange of views, noting the responsibility of both countries toward the peace, development and prosperity of the international community and their mutual desire to strengthen Japan-U.S. relations even further. A transcript of their remarks is available on the website of the U.S. Department of State.
|U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki shake hands before Clinton's departure from Tokyo on February 18th. (photo: U.S. Department of State)|
-Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki
(February 19, 2009)
The following are Ambassador Fujisaki's overall impressions after accompanying Secretary Clinton during her visit to Japan from February 16 to 18.
Secretary Clinton brought three "firsts" to Japan.
The first "first," of course, refers to her first visit to a foreign country as Secretary of State. We do not think that this is a coincidence. Secretary Clinton has repeatedly said that the "alliance with Japan is the cornerstone of American foreign policy in Asia." She has also said that this alliance is unshakable.
The second "first" was the invitation she conveyed to Prime Minister Aso from President Obama to visit the White House as the first foreign guest. We think this is a reflection that the No. 1 economy, the United States, and the No. 2 economy, Japan, should cooperate to cope with the economic situation and other global issues such as climate change.
The third "first" was the character of her trip. It was a Friendly, Intensive, Robust, and Substantive Trip.
Let me briefly touch upon the Secretary's itinerary.
Upon arrival, Secretary Clinton was greeted by the young athletes who participated in the Special Olympics in Idaho. They had returned to Japan just the day before. She was also greeted by two female Japanese astronauts. Secretary Clinton made a statement on Japan-U.S. relations, and she shook hands and spoke with each person. The Special Olympics athletes were very excited as well as the mothers who accompanied them.
The next morning, Secretary Clinton visited a Shinto shrine. I watched on the screen as she was introduced to traditional Japanese culture in the sacred and serene woods located in the center of Tokyo.
She met with Foreign Minister Nakasone and had lunch with him at his official residence. Their discussions covered the world, touching upon Japan-U.S. relations, peace and stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as other global issues including the world economy, environment, energy, situations in East Asia and Africa, and piracy in Somalia. Their discussion was conducted in a frank and cordial manner as they renewed their acquaintance from eighteen years ago.
The two of them agreed that Japan-U.S. relations should continue to be enhanced in the coming years. To reinforce the core of the alliance, they signed the Guam International Agreement on the realignment of U.S. Forces from Okinawa to Guam, followed by a joint press conference.
Next, Secretary Clinton had a bilateral meeting with Defense Minister Hamada, and they discussed Japan-U.S. security arrangements as well as other defense and security issues. She then had tea with the Empress at the Imperial Palace, with whom she had an audience when she was the First Lady.
With a view to charting the future course of our strong relations, the Secretary also visited Tokyo University and had frank exchanges with the students. She was very impressed by their good questions.
In the evening, Secretary Clinton paid a courtesy call to Prime Minister Aso. Then the Prime Minister hosted a dinner, which the Foreign Minister and Chief Cabinet Secretary also attended. They discussed wide-ranging issues, from bilateral and regional to global issues, which the two countries have to address together.
After the dinner, Secretary Clinton met with the opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa and others of the Democratic Party of Japan.
It was a rigorous schedule, but the Secretary showed no fatigue. The Japanese people were very impressed with her physical stamina, articulate arguments, amicable attitude, and her humble and attentive manner when listening to others.
This long day was portrayed in the news again and again. The Japanese people were very excited about the visit, and their faces shone with the joy and excitement of opening a new chapter in the ever-growing Japan-U.S. relations.
During her time in Japan, Secretary Clinton was also interviewed by both Fuji TV and NHK broadcasting corporations. For those who wish to learn more about the Secretary's visit to Japan, the transcripts of those interviews, which covered topics ranging from the abduction issue and gender equality to the recent resignation of Finance Minister Nakagawa, are available on the website of the U.S. Department of State at the following links:
Signing of the Agreement Concerning the Relocation
of Marine Force Personnel from Okinawa to Guam
-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(February 17, 2009)
|U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone signing the Guam International Agreement|
(1) With a view to reducing the burden of local
communities while maintaining a sufficient level of
deterrence in the region, the Governments of Japan
and the U.S. compiled the "United States-Japan
Roadmap for Realignment Implementation" ("Roadmap") at the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (the "2+2" Meeting) held on May 2006. As part of the implementation of the Roadmap, the two governments agreed to relocate the US Marines stationed in Okinawa (the III Marine Expeditionary Force) and their dependents to Guam.
(2) The Governments of Japan and the U.S. negotiated the agreement in order to implement the projects related to the relocation in FY2009. The two governments reached a final accord, and the Agreement was signed today in Tokyo by Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone, Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State.
2. Main Points of the Agreement
Confirming the relevant issues stipulated in the Roadmap, this Agreement secures the actions by both Japan and the U.S., including the funding for...
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