US, Japan set new joint vision for the Asia Pacific

The United States and Japan have agreed on a new joint vision for the Asia Pacific region including peace and stability in the region and bilateral trade between the two countries, the US President Barack Obama has said.

Obama was speaking at a joint White House news conference yesterday with the visiting Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda.

Identifying Japan as one of the closest American allies in the region, Obama said that the two leaders have agreed to a new joint vision to guide their alliance and help shape the Asia Pacific for decades to come.

'This is part of the broader effort I discussed in Australia last year in which the United States is once again leading in the Asia Pacific. First, we recognise that the US-Japan alliance will remain the foundation of the security and prosperity of our two nations, but also a cornerstone of regional peace and security,' he said.

'Second, our joint vision commits us to deepening our trade and investment,' Obama said, adding that the two leaders agreed to deepen their cooperation on nuclear safety, clean energy and cyber security to enhance their economic competitiveness.

'Our joint vision lays out the future we seek in the Asia-Pacific: a region where international rules and norms are upheld, where nations contribute to regional security, where commerce and freedom of navigation is not impeded and where disputes are resolved peacefully,' he said.

The two leaders also discussed the provocative actions of North Korea, a sign which can serve to deepen Pyongyang's isolation and changes underway in Burma.

'Fourth, our joint vision reaffirms our role as global partners bound by shared values and committed to international peace, security and human rights. For example, our nations are the largest donors in Afghanistan. As we plan for the NATO summit in Chicago and the next phase of the transition in Afghanistan, Japan is planning for a donor conference to sustain development there,' he said.

'Finally, our joint vision commits us to deepening the ties between our peoples,' Obama said.

Speaking through an interpreter, Noda said that he had a very good exchange of views with the US President on bilateral relations between Japan and the country, the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, and various and global challenges, among others.

'We were able to confirm from broader perspectives the present-day significance of the Japan-US alliance and where the Japan-US relations should be headed in the longer term,' Noda said.

Besides co-operating on regional and global issues, Noda said it is important that both the countries cooperate to promote necessary rules-making in the areas of non-traditional threats such as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and piracy as well as human security and peace-building and civil assistance, ocean, space and cyberspace.

'In the economic area, we shall deepen bilateral economic ties and fortify the growth and prosperity of two countries through their promotion of economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region. To this end, both our countries will work on regional trade and investment rules-making, with a view to building an FTOP, or the free trade area of the Asia-Pacific,' he said.

'From this vantage point as well, we shall advance in consultations with a view to participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. The shared vision also calls for further strengthening of the energy cooperation, and we discussed in our meeting today expanding L&G exports from the United States to Japan,' the Japanese Prime Minister added.
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