Summary of the Meeting and Luncheon
Between Foreign Minister Nakasone and Secretary of State Clinton
February 17, 2009
On February 17, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Japan as her first destination as Secretary of State. She held a meeting with Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone followed by a luncheon.
1. Japan-U.S. Relations (including security affairs)
Foreign Minister Nakasone expressed Japan's basic view that the Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of Japan's foreign policy and the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region. Secretary Clinton also mentioned the importance of the alliance. Both leaders engaged in a candid exchange of views, noting the responsibility of both countries for the peace, development and prosperity of the international community and their desire to further enhance Japan-U.S. relations.
Both sides agreed to accelerate the coordination of Prime Minister Aso's visit to the United States, and to make arrangements toward realizing the Japan-U.S. summit meeting on February 24.
Foreign Minister Nakasone expressed his desire for closer cooperation to strengthen the strategic dialogue and to closely cooperate between Japan and the U.S. at various levels, including telephone talks between the Foreign Ministers. He also expressed his hope for the two countries to cooperate closely in the UN Security Council, where Japan is currently serving as a non-permanent member.
Secretary Clinton reiterated the U.S. commitments to the defense of Japan, including its nuclear deterrence under the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements.
The two sides agreed to steadily implement the realignment of the U.S. Forces in Japan based on the Roadmap while maintaining deterrence and reducing the burden on the local communities including Okinawa. They also signed the Agreement concerning the Relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps from Okinawa to Guam. Upon signing the Agreement, Secretary Clinton referred to the importance of the Agreement.
2. The Asia-Pacific Region
(1) North Korea
Regarding North Korea, Foreign Minister Nakasone emphasized the importance of comprehensively resolving the outstanding issues of concern, including the abduction, the nuclear, and the missile issues, to which Secretary Clinton agreed. The two agreed to closely cooperate, and also with the ROK, to realize complete denuclearization in a verifiable manner. Secretary Clinton said that she was meeting with the families of the abduction victims, and that the abduction issue was a concern not only for Japan, but for the U.S. as well. Foreign Minister Nakasone expressed his gratitude to both President Obama and Secretary Clinton's strong sympathy on this issue and to her having a meeting with the families of the victims. Secretary Clinton went on to say that the Six-Party Talks is the optimal framework for resolving the problems concerning North Korea, and that it was important that the abduction issue be resolved through the framework of the talks. She also referred to the role of China, which is the chair-country of the Six-Party talks.
Foreign Minister Nakasone noted the importance of developments in China for the future of the Asia-Pacific Region, and that he hoped that it would play a constructive role in the international community. He described the development of a "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests" between Japan and China, noting that the two countries have had 5 mutual visits at the top level last year, including at the Japan-China-Korea Summit Conference. On the other hand, he expressed a need for attention by Japan and the U.S. with respect to China's modernization of its military, internal economic inequality, and the political and social implications of its deteriorating real economy. Secretary Clinton responded that she also wanted to encourage China's constructive involvement in the international community, and that it was important to encourage China's constructive role in the Six Party Talks, climate change, and the world economy, which China would play a crucial role.
Foreign Minister Nakasone explained Japan's replenishment support activities in the Indian Ocean, and Japan's plan to bear half-year's salary of all 80,000 members of Afghanistan's police force, and elaborated on specific examples of Japan's aid: construction of more than 500 schools, training of 10,000 teachers, construction of clinics, building of 650-kilometer roads, building of the terminal at the Kabul International Airport where Mrs. Ogata, the president of JICA, attended its completion ceremony, and support for DDR and DIAG, etc. Secretary Clinton appreciated Japan's concrete supports to improve the lives of the Afghani people. The two ministers further agreed that Japan and the U.S. will coordinate their cooperation to successfully hold a conference to assist Pakistan.
3. Global Topics
(1) Climate Change and Energy
Foreign Minister Nakasone stated that Japan, as the most energy-efficient country in the world, was willing to take leadership on assistance to developing countries and clean energy with a goal of attaining transition to a "low carbon society" while sustaining economic growth. He said that the participation of China and India was vital to the post -2012 climate change regime. Both sides agreed on working level cooperation through close consultations between Ambassador Sugiyama (Director-General for Global Issues) and Special Envoy for Climate Change Stern.
(2) Financial Markets and the World Economy
The two Ministers discussed fighting protectionism and agreed to close cooperation, as the first and second largest economies in the world, and to work together for the upcoming London Summit in April.
(3) Disarmament ・ Non-Proliferation
Secretary Clinton described disarmament and non-proliferation as one of the most important foreign /security policies of the Obama Administration, stating that she hoped for even closer liaison between Japan and the U.S. on this issue.
(4) Middle East Peace
Secretary Clinton explained the dispatch of Special Envoy for Middle East peace Mitchell to the region, and welcomed Japan's "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" initiative.
(5) African Development
Secretary Clinton expressed gratitude for Japan's approach to Africa, especially the TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) process.
(6) Iran's Nuclear Issue
Foreign Minister Nakasone said that it was important for Iran to restore international trust and play a constructive role for the peace and prosperity in the region, and that the approach consisting of dialogue and pressure would be important. Secretary Clinton responded that the United States had to advance this issue.
(7) Anti-Piracy Policies off the Coast of Somalia
Foreign Minister Nakasone explained Japan's approaches and efforts towards this issue, which was welcomed by Secretary Clinton.
(8) Secretary Clinton's Visit to Indonesia
Regarding Secretary Clinton's successive visit to Indonesia, Foreign Minister Nakasone welcomed that visit and pointed out the importance of that country's influence in the Asia-Pacific Region as the world's largest Islamic state. Secretary Clinton expressed her gratitude toward this remark.
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