Japan, US reaffirming alliance

Japan, US reaffirming alliance

Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have held their first meeting in Tokyo. The top diplomats exchange views on a range of issues including their countries' alliance.

Kishida stressed that Japan would play a greater role and bear responsibility for international peace and stability.

Tillerson said that while security environment can be challenging, US is committed to strengthening its role and it welcomes increased Japan's commitment to their enhanced roles, responsibilities and Japan-US alliance.

The two reiterated their commitment to cooperate in dealing with the threat posed by North Korea's missile launches.

Kishida said that the two have affirmed to strongly demand North Korea refrain from any provocative act and comply with UN Security Council resolutions.

Tillerson also called on China to help persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program, saying China has a very important role to play. He insisted that China also wants to de-nuclearize North Korea.

Kishida did not waste time reaffirming Japan's position on the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
Japan controls the islands. China and Taiwan claim them.

Tillerson said that the two sides have affirmed that Article V of US-Japan Security Treaty covers the Senkaku Islands and that the they oppose any unilateral action to undermine Japan's administration of the islands.

The Secretary of States heads to South Korea and China after leaving Japan on Friday.