Secretary Clinton met with Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara in Honolulu, Hawaii on October 27. Speaking to the press, the Secretary said, "it is a pleasure to be back in Hawaii and an even greater pleasure to be hosting the foreign minister here in Honolulu. I appreciate very much his willingness to take the long trip from Japan to be here.
"And it is a fitting venue to continue the productive discussions that I began with the foreign minister in New York last month. This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our alliance, which was forged at the height of the Cold War. At the time, President Eisenhower described the indestructible partnership between our two countries, and time has proven him right. The world's geopolitical landscape has shifted many times since then, but the partnership between the United States and Japan has endured because it is based on deep friendship between our people, on mutual respect, and on common goals and values.
"This alliance is the cornerstone of American strategic engagement in the Asia Pacific. It has helped both countries prosper and weather economic storms. It has underwritten peace and security, and it has allowed us to cooperate on a range of global issues, including nuclear nonproliferation, climate change, combating violent extremism, and I'm grateful that we are the two largest contributors to reconstruction in Afghanistan.
"We are also cooperating on the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea and Iran. Last month, the United States welcomed the sanctions that Japan imposed on Iran. They underscored the resolve of the international community to support a global sanctions regime aimed at countering Iran's nuclear ambitions. Joining likeminded nations around the world, Japan has emphasized the message that Tehran must meet its international responsibilities.
"The foreign minister and I consulted on base realignment issues and the replacement facility at Futenma. The goal of our two governments remains unchanged: Both countries want an arrangement that is operationally viable and politically sustainable. That means the United States will reduce the impact of our bases on host communities while at the same time maintaining the capabilities that we need to meet our commitment to defend Japan and the Japanese people and the security of the region. We look forward to working with the Government of Japan to build local support for a final plan for the replacement facility.
"The foreign minister and I also discussed Japan's leadership role as host of APEC 2011. As you know, the United States will be hosting APEC in 2012 -- or in 2011, so we are working closely to coordinate our agendas. The President is looking very much forward to being in Japan for the APEC meetings.
"We are looking beyond our governments, touching on joint efforts to increase people-to-people connections, especially student exchanges, and we are looking also to build on what we signed just recently, a memorandum of understanding for an open skies agreement. Under this initiative, airlines rather than governments will decide which cities to serve, establish flight schedules, and set fares.
"Finally, the foreign minister and I discussed among other issues one that is of particular importance for parents and children in both countries. The Japanese Government is taking steps toward ratifying the Hague Convention on International Parental Child Abduction and enhancing parents' basic visitation rights. I am encouraged by this progress.
"So I thank the minister for a two-hour meeting that was in-depth and very focused on deepening and broadening our relationship. I look forward to continuing to work with him, and I am confident that together we can help to improve the lives of the people of our countries as well as the larger region."
You can read the full transcript here.
A fact sheet on United States-Japan 2010 Joint Projects in APEC is available here.
Secretary Clinton is traveling to Hawaii, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Australia October 27-November 8. You can learn about the Secretary's trip here.