TOKYO (Oct. 20, 2014) — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as part of a trade mission she is currently leading to Japan and Korea. She was joined by representatives of 20 U.S. firms focused on the health care and energy sectors who are accompanying Secretary Pritzker on this mission, her first to Japan since taking office.
Secretary Pritzker underscored the Obama Administration’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific region and the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance. Secretary Pritzker noted that the economic and commercial dimension of the Administration’s rebalance to Asia is particularly important, which is part of the reason she is leading a delegation of 20 American companies to Japan and Korea, some with longstanding relationships in the region and some who are looking to forge brand new relationships.
Secretary Pritzker said that deepening the already-strong economic and commercial ties between the U.S. and Japan is critical to strengthening our overall strategic partnerships across the Asia-Pacific.
Secretary Pritzker commended Prime Minister Abe on his commitment to reform throughout his two years in office, and noted that American businesses are eager to partner with Japan in the country’s ongoing efforts to reform and strengthen its health care and energy sectors. She also praised Prime Minister Abe for his vision in entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and she discussed the need for the U.S. and Japan to be creative and bold as the countries enter the final stages of the negotiations. Prime Minister Abe also expressed his desire to complete an ambitious, high-standard agreement as soon as possible.