AAP staff report
Washington, D.C. (June 5, 2010) – President Barack Obama on Saturday held his first phone conversation with Naoto Kan, the President of the Democratic Party of Japan, and who has become the new Prime Minister of Japan. The White House Office of the Press Secretary states that President Obama called spoke with Prime Minister Kan to congratulate him on his party election. The two leaders reportedly agreed to work very closely together to address the many issues facing both nations and the global community.
The two emphasized the importance of the the US-Japan Alliance – adding that they share the conviction that the partnership and close ties between the United States and Japan greatly benefit the citizens of both nations and contribute significantly to stability and prosperity throughout the world.
The two leaders will meet in person at the upcoming G-8 and G-20 Summits in Canada this June 25-27.
U.S. National Security Council Spokesman Mike Hammer expressed similar platitudes following the June 4 announcement of Kim’s election which came after the resignation of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama – following an unpopular agreement with the United States to allow U.S. and Japanese military bases on Okanawa to move an Air Station to a more remote area of the island near Futenma.
“Japan is an important friend and ally,” Hammer stated. “Our partnership is crucial to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The President is committed to maintaining excellent cooperation with the new Japanese government and will work closely together with Prime Minister Kan on bilateral, regional and global issues.”
According to the Japan Prime Minister’s Web site (www.kantei.go.jp/foreign), the senior vice-ministers and the parliamentary secretaries of the Kan Cabinet were decided at the Cabinet meeting on June 9.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan attended the attestation ceremony at the Imperial Palace with 22 senior vice-ministers, who had assembled at the Prime Minister’s Office. Prime Minister Kan and the senior vice-ministers thereafter returned to the Prime Minister’s Office and attended a commemorative photograph session, which was also joined by Mr. Yoshito Sengoku, Chief Cabinet Secretary, and others. Prime Minister Kan then attended the first meeting of the senior vice-ministers.
Afterwards, Prime Minister Kan delivered letters of appointment to 25 parliamentary secretaries, who had assembled at the Prime Minister’s Office. The Prime Minister then attended a commemorative photograph session and the first meeting of the parliamentary secretaries.
In his addresses at both meetings, Prime Minister Kan said, “Previously, there has been some divide in the roles between the Cabinet for policy-making and the Party for other activities. This time, with the involvement of the Chair of the Policy Research Council of the Party as a Cabinet member, we have set up a structure to integrate policy debates within the Party into those of the Cabinet. While being thoroughly aware of the discussions among the members of the Party, I would like to reflect their opinions in a positive way into decisions and actions taken by the Cabinet.”