Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto, and Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa participated in the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting, known as the 2+2, at the Department of State on June 21, 2011. Secretary Clinton discussed a wide range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, and celebrated the U.S.-Japan partnership.
Secretary Clinton said, "For more than 50 years, the alliance between Japan and the United States has been the cornerstone of security in the Asia Pacific region. Our agenda today, embodied in the documents that we have just released, reflects the breadth and depth of our alliance. We are cooperating more closely on a wider range of issues and challenges than ever before.
"It has been more than three months since the tragic events of March 11th left tens of thousands of people dead or missing, and hundreds of thousands homeless. The Japanese people have shown remarkable strength in the face of this unprecedented crisis. All Americans have been proud to stand with you and support your efforts to recover. Today, we discussed our countries' ongoing work together and reaffirmed our commitment to maintain these efforts for as long as they are needed.
"We also made important progress on several initiatives that will enhance our ability to defend Japan and respond to a variety of threats to the security of the Asia Pacific region. For example, we explored ways to broaden and deepen our cooperation on defense technologies. As Secretary Gates will describe, we also took steps to reduce the impact of our defense presence on the communities in Okinawa.
"We discussed a range of regional and global issues. On North Korea, we remain committed to deterring further provocative behaviors by North Korea, supporting a North-South dialogue, and promoting the complete and peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We talked about our efforts to improve regional cooperation in a variety of multilateral forums and through a trilateral dialogue with India. On global issues, we discussed our joint efforts to advance peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, ensure Iran's compliance with its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and bring security against the pirates to the waters off the Horn of Africa.
"But overall, we really celebrated the mutual respect and shared values that have served us so well for the past 50 years. As the U.S.-Japan alliance enters its second half century, it remains indispensable to the peace, security, and economic dynamism of the Asia-Pacific Region, and I was very honored to have this opportunity to host our colleagues and discuss these very important issues together."
You can read the Secretary's complete remarks here.