WASHINGTON (April 30, 2012) — The White House Office of the Press Secretary reported that President Barack Obama welcomed Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan on Monday to discuss United States-Japan Cooperative Initiatives.
It is the first visit to the United States by a Japanese Prime Minister in the bilateral context since the change of government took place in Japan.
The spoke to press in the East Room following the release of the “U.S.-Japan Joint Statement: A Shared Vision for the Future,” that they call cooperative initiatives aimed at strengthening and expanding the areas of security cooperation, economic partnership, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
The leaders welcomed the 2+2 Joint Statement of April 27, and affirmed that the new plan will enhance the implementation of U.S. force posture and realignment goals, leading to strengthened and expanded security and defense cooperation. The statement represents a key component of the broader U.S. strategic rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific by supporting a U.S. military presence in the region that is geographically distributed, operationally resilient and politically sustainable.
It marks a major step forward in our bilateral security relationship and opens the way for new Alliance initiatives to enhance our operational cooperation, including dynamic defense cooperation involving timely and effective joint training, joint surveillance and reconnaissance activities, and joint/ shared use of facilities. It also opens a pathway to new initiatives for regional collaboration to help partners to build their capacity through both governments’ efforts.
The core principals of the agreement includes: Bilateral Commission on Civil Nuclear Cooperation; New Clean Energy Initiatives; Tohoku Green Communities Alliance; Critical Materials Research and Development; The 4th Clean Energy Policy Dialogue in Fukushima; Joint Statement on Global Supply Chain Security; Cooperation on Travel Facilitation; Cyber Cooperation; Space Cooperation; and New Cooperation in Clean Energy Innovation.
The United States and Japan will expand our cooperation on clean energy innovation, including through collaborations for information sharing and joint research and development between U.S. national laboratories and universities, and Japanese research institutes and universities in biomass, enhanced geothermal systems, and other areas. In addition, the United States and Japan are to expand joint projects in renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid technology, and people-to-people exchanges, under the existing cooperation involving the State of Hawaii and Okinawa Prefecture.
Also, as a centennial response for the Friendship Blossoms historic gift of 3,000 cherry trees by Japan to Washington, D.C., in 1912, the President announced a reciprocal gift of 3,000 dogwood trees to Japan this year. These dogwood trees are to be planted in Tokyo and throughout Japan, including in areas recovering from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, as an enduring symbol of our friendship.
“The U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace, security, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Obama said. “This partnership has underwritten the dynamic growth and prosperity of the region for 60 years.
The strength of this Alliance, which was demonstrated during the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, is founded on the close bonds between our two nations and our people,” he added. “These bonds will continue to anchor and sustain our partnership.”
Noda said the exchange of views with the President went well and that the two were able to confirm from broader perspectives the present-day significance of the Japan-U.S. alliance and where the Japan-U.S. relations should be headed in the longer term. He spoke of meeting people who played significant roles in supporting the victims of the earthquake and tsunami last year.
The relationship document, Noda said, clearly shows the determination that Japan and the United States have to utilize their respective capabilities and resources to the maximum extent possible dividing up responsibilities and roles for the peace and prosperity of the Asia Pacific, and the world.
“This is our firm conviction,” Noda said. “The United States and Japan are at both ends of the Asia Pacific region, the world’s growth center. This region also contains elements of instability such as North Korea, maritime conflicts and military buildups — in other words, major opportunities and challenges exist side by side in the region.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hosted a Dinner for Prime Minister Noda on Monday evening at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.
“This is a bond between us that promotes security, stability, and prosperity not only in the Asia Pacific but around the world,” Clinton said. “Our countries are standing side by side to meet the most important challenges of our time.
“Japan remains an essential world leader, even in the face of the unspeakable tragedies that it suffered. Americans are inspired by the bravery and resilience of the Japanese people.”