Japan and the United States are allies sharing fundamental values and strategic interests and the Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of Japanese diplomacy. The Japan-U.S. alliance, with the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements at the core, has brought peace and prosperity to Japan and the Far East for more than 60 years since the end of World War II and has functioned effectively as the fundamental framework supporting stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region. In the Asia-Pacific region, which continues to have elements of instability after the end of the Cold War, the Japan-U.S. alliance plays an indispensable role as the cornerstone for the peace and prosperity of Japan and the region.
Japan and the U.S. have further deepened their relations in a broad range of fields by appropriately tackling bilateral issues. They have also taken advantage of various opportunities to act in close cooperation to ensure the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and to address global issues facing the international community. The Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama, who called for "change," was elected in the presidential election in November 2008, and the new U.S. administration was inaugurated in January 2009. Japan has also begun to forge a close partnership with the new Obama administration, taking advantage of various opportunities.
Japan and Canada cooperate closely in such fields as politics, the economy, security and culture as partners in the Asia-Pacific region, sharing fundamental values and also as members of the G8. With 2008 marking the 80th anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations, Japan-Canada exchanges were promoted through various types of commemorative events and the bilateral relationship was further strengthened through Prime Minister Stephen Harper's first visit to Japan in July and the holding of a bilateral summit meeting. At this meeting, the leaders of the two countries agreed to coordinate the visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress to Canada in the summer of 2009.