US, Japan to promote trilateral dialogue with India

The two sides "welcome India as a strong and enduring Asia-Pacific partner and encourage India's growing engagement with the region and participation in regional architectures", said a joint statement issued Tuesday after the first US-Japan Security Consultative Committee Meeting held since 2007.

They would also "promote trilateral dialogue among the United States, Japan, and India", it said.

The statement was issued after a meeting among US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates and Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto and Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.

Earlier, at a State Department press conference, Clinton also noted "we talked about our efforts to improve regional cooperation in a variety of multilateral forums and through a trilateral dialogue with India".

Discussions during this year's meeting focused on the most critical challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region, Gates said. "Those include the denuclearisation of North Korea, supporting continued progress in Afghanistan, and maritime security," he said.

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