Obama meets Japan PM; discusses upcoming East Asia Summit

"The President and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had a good discussion on a range of issues, including APEC and the upcoming East Asia Summit, and next steps on (Marine Corps Air Station) Futenma relocation," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said last evening.

The leaders also talked about Japan's interest in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Noda noted that he had decided to begin consultations with TPP members, with an eye to joining the TPP negotiations.

"The President welcomed that important announcement and Japan's interest in the TPP agreement, noting that eliminating the barriers to trade between our two countries could provide a historic opportunity to deepen our economic relationship, as well as strengthen Japan's ties with some of its closest partners in the region," Carney said.

Obama noted that all TPP countries need to be prepared to meet the agreement's high standards, and welcomed Noda's statement that he would put all goods, as well as services, on the negotiating table for trade liberalisation.

After the meeting, Obama told reporters that the alliance between the US and Japan is the cornerstone of their relationship and is also vital for security in the Asia-Pacific region.

"I'm confident that working together we can continue to build on that relationship in the areas of commerce, the areas of security, in not only the Asia-Pacific region but around the world," he said.

Noda said: "I'm very much encouraged by the fact that America is increasing its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, and I do believe that Japan and the United States must work closely together to establish economic goals and also establish security order in this region."   

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