Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting

November 13, 2009

Prime Minister Hatoyama held a Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting with President Obama for approximately 90 minutes beginning at 6:50 P.M. JST on November 13. The outline of the meeting is as follows. (Also present at the meeting were Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano, Foreign Minister Okada, Defense Minister Kitazawa, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Naoshima, Minister of the Environment Ozawa, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno, Ambassador of Japan to the United States of America Fujisaki, etc. from the Japanese side; Ambassador of the United States of America to Japan Roos, Assistant Secretary of State Campbell, Deputy National Security Advisor to the President Donilon, Director of the National Economic Council Summers, etc. from the U.S. side)

1. Japan-U.S. Relations

(1) Overview

Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that the shooting at Fort Hood was a truly tragic incident, and that he wished to express condolences and sympathy on behalf of the Japanese people. The Prime Minister also extended his welcome to President Obama for his visit to Japan, which was the first destination of his first trip to Asia.

Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that the Japan-U.S. alliance was the linchpin of Japanese diplomacy and also the foundation of peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The Prime Minister also stated that he wished to strengthen Japan-U.S. cooperation through working with President Obama in not only bilateral relations but also issues concerning the Asia-Pacific region and global issues based on this alliance. The Prime Minister expressed that he intended to deepen the "constructive and future-oriented Japan-U.S. alliance" based on this cooperation. The President expressed his basic agreement with the Prime Minister's view. The President stated that the fact that he chose Japan as the first destination of his first trip to Asia demonstrates the importance which the U.S. attached to the Japan-U.S. alliance, that the Japan-U.S. relationship had been and would continue to be an equal partnership and that it was important to work closely together with mutual respect.

Prime Minister Hatoyama proposed to launch a new process of consultation to deepen the Japan-U.S. alliance towards the fiftieth anniversary of the revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty next year, as part of the overall efforts towards deepening the alliance, on which President Obama agreed. The Prime Minister further stated that since the international environment and the times were going through changes, there was a need to develop the Japan-U.S. alliance accordingly. For example, with regard to the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, the Prime Minister stated that he wished to strengthen cooperation in areas not limited to conventional areas such as extended deterrence, information security, missile defense and space, but also areas including new challenges. The Prime Minister further expressed his wish to deepen the alliance through promoting cooperation between Japan and the U.S. in areas such as disaster prevention, medical service and healthcare, the environment and education, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. The President concurred in these points.

(2) Realignment of U.S. forces

Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that he recognized the realignment of U.S. forces as an important issue from the viewpoint of reducing the burden in Okinawa while maintaining deterrence. In particular, concerning the issue of the relocation of the Futenma Air Station, the Prime Minister stated that he hoped to reach a resolution as soon as possible through the high-level working group that had already been agreed on to be set up. The Prime Minister explained that while the current administration took the agreement between Japan and the U.S. during the previous administration very seriously, the fact that the DPJ had been advocating relocation outside of Okinawa or the country during the election campaign raised the expectations among the people of Okinawa Prefecture. The Prime Minister also stated that he recognized the great difficulty of this issue, and that he was aware that the resolution of this issue would become even more difficult as time went by. In response to this, President Obama expressed his desire to resolve this issue expeditiously through the high-level working group.

(3) Japan-U.S. Economic Relations

With regard to the economy, they shared the view that cooperation had been promoted in fields such as recovery of the world economy through G8 and G20, progress of Japan-U.S. cooperation on clean energy technologies, progress of WTO Doha Round, and negotiation on liberalization of aviation, and that such cooperation should be further promoted.

2. The Situation in the Asia Pacific Region

President Obama, referring to the address on Asia Policy that was scheduled on the following day (November 14), stated that the U.S. was an important player in the region and it intended to actively engage in Asia. In response, Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that he expected U.S. presence in Asia, and from this very reason the Japan-U.S. alliance was the linchpin of our diplomacy. Also, the Prime Minister stated that because of the presence of the U.S. and the Japan-U.S. alliance, he propounded the initiative for an East Asian community, and that the strengthening of Japan-U.S. cooperation on various levels would greatly contribute to the stability and growth of East Asia. With regard to APEC in particular, both sides agreed to continue bilateral coordination towards the success of APEC and the formulation of a new vision, seizing the opportunity of 2010-2011 in which Japan and the U.S. would serve as the chair in sequence.

3. Global Issues

(1) Afghanistan and Pakistan

Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that the stability and reconstruction of Afghanistan were issues of primary importance that may affect the stability of the entire world, and that he highly valued the efforts and commitment of the U.S. Also the Prime Minister stated that Japan had gone through comprehensive review on the form of assistance that was genuinely needed in Afghanistan, and, as a result, it had decided a new assistance package for Afghanistan, of up to an amount in the region of five billion U.S. dollars in about five years from 2009, for enhancement of Afghan capability to maintain security, reintegration of the former Taliban soldiers including social education for them, and civil assistance for sustainable and self-reliant development such as agriculture, infrastructure and construction of schools. The Prime Minister also stated that Japan would continue to cooperate with the international community and play a role that it should play. President Obama expressed his high appreciation both on the assistance that had been conducted and those decided upon by Japan this time, as great contributions. The President also stated that, in Afghanistan, not only military assistance but also civil assistance were extremely important, and that he wished to continue to work in close consultation with Japan. Furthermore, the President expressed his appreciation for Japan's assistance to Pakistan. In response, the Prime Minister explained that he intended to continue full cooperation to Pakistan.

(2) Climate Change

Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that it was extremely significant that Japan and the U.S. issued a joint message which includes aspiration by Japan and the U.S. to reduce their own emissions by 80% by 2050. The Prime Minister also stated that international negotiation was currently at a crucial stage, and that he wished to make efforts with the U.S. towards the success of COP15 in order to reach a meaningful agreement, and that he intended to continue cooperation in order to establish a fair and effective framework in which all major economies, both developed and developing economies including China, participate, and to reach agreement on ambitious targets by them. In response, the President stated that his administration gave high priorities on climate change and that he intended to closely cooperate with Japan.

(3) Nuclear disarmament and Non-proliferation (including North Korea and Iran)

(a) Overview

Prime Minister Hatoyama thanked President Obama for his leadership in the U.N. Security Council Summit on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament, and conveyed to the President that the Japanese people were extremely moved by the President's speech in Prague. The Prime Minister stated that the fact that Japan and the U.S. were co-sponsors of the resolution on the "Renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons" was immensely meaningful, and that he wished to share the vision of "A World without Nuclear Weapons" and continue cooperating with the President. The Prime Minister further expressed his willingness to cooperate towards the success of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Nuclear Security Summit which were to be held next year. The President stated that Japan and the U.S. shared the vision of "A World without Nuclear Weapons", and that he wished to cooperate with Japan on this issue. The President also stated that the elimination of nuclear weapons was a goal that would take time to accomplish, and that as long as nuclear weapons existed, the U.S. would be fully committed to providing deterrence for the security of the U.S. and its allies. The President further explained that the U.S.-Russia nuclear disarmament negotiations were underway.

(b) North Korea

Concerning the issue of North Korea, President Obama stated that he would like to continue close consultations between Japan and the U.S., and that a forthcoming visit to North Korea by Ambassador Bosworth, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy, would be made within the framework of the Six-Party Talks. In response, Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that he endorsed such bilateral contact between the U.S. and North Korea, and that he hoped this would lead to the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

(c) Iran

Concerning Iran, President Obama explained the diplomatic efforts by the EU3+3, and stated that further measures towards Iran would be necessary in the case where this negotiation process did not work. Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that Japan shared the concern towards Iran's nuclear issue, and that Japan supported the dual-track approach of dialogue and pressure towards Iran. The Prime Minister further stated that Japan had been reaching out to Iran based on the historical bilateral relationship between the two countries, and the two leaders shared the view that Japan and the U.S. would continue to work together closely on this issue.


Back to Index