Japan-United States of America Relations
Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
November 18, 2016
1. Opening Remarks and Japan-U.S. Relations
Secretary Kerry noted that with just two months left of his tenure there are more and more urgent challenges facing Japan and the United States and he confirmed that the United States would continue to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance for the peace and prosperity of the region and the international community.
Minister Kishida noted that although this meeting may be the last one with Mr. Kerry as Secretary of State, the current unprecedented strength of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, demonstrated by the success of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the visit to Hiroshima by President Obama, was thanks to the efforts of Secretary Kerry. Minister Kishida stated his determination to continue to strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance building upon the past four years of cooperation with Secretary Kerry.
In response, Secretary Kerry stated that he is proud of the way cooperation has grown over the past four years and wants to continue his friendship with Minister Kishida.
Secretary Kerry also stated that he has been paying attention to the scheduled meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President-elect Trump and expressed the hope that it would be a good meeting. Minister Kishida responded that the Japan-U.S. Alliance is the cornerstone for Japan’s diplomacy and its importance will remain the same, and stated that in the meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President-elect Trump would confirm the importance of Japan-U.S. relations.
2. Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
Minister Kishida stated that Japan will continue to make every effort to achieve the ratification of the TPP in the current Diet session and that it is important for the TPP to also be approved by the United States in order to ensure that there are no setbacks to the flow of free trade. Secretary Kerry responded that the United States had still not given up on the TPP and there is strong support and expectation among economic and business circles in the United States.
3. Asia-Pacific Regional Affairs
The two sides discussed the situation in North Korea and Minister Kishida stated that he appreciates the efforts made by the United States in realizing the adoption of the resolution by the United Nations Security Council. The two sides confirmed that Japan and the United States will continue to cooperate closely together on this issue.