Obama, Japan's Abe discuss security in phone call
US President Barack Obama, pictured as he makes a phone call, in Chicago, on November 6, 2012. Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke by phone on Wednesday, days after the US leader met over the weekend with the president of China, the White House said in a statement.
The two leaders on Wednesday "discussed the president's recent meetings with President Xi Jinping of China, and agreed on the importance of ensuring stability and pursuing dialogue as it relates to the East China Sea," the statement read.
The reference to the East China Sea relates to Japan's dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands, which China calls the Diaoyus.
On Tuesday Japan and the United States started a joint drill to practice retaking remote islands, the Japanese government said, as Tokyo and Beijing continue to face off over ownership of the Tokyo-administered archipelago.
The United States has studiously avoided taking a position on the sovereignty of the islands, but has said they are covered by a mutual defense treaty.
Abe, seen as a hardliner against China, has stepped up defense spending by the world's third largest economy and taken an uncompromising stance on the islands.
During the phone call, Obama also "stressed" that Washington "looks forward to being able to welcome Japan to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations as early as possible once current TPP members complete their domestic requirements."
With the entry of Japan into the free-trade talks the pact would cover nearly 40 percent of the global economy, making it the biggest free-trade agreement in the world.
The bloc is aimed creating a tariff-free zone with a market of around $25 trillion covering some 800 million people.
Obama and Abe also "pledged to continue to work together closely toward the elimination of North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs," and the two leaders "expressed the shared desire to work together closely at the up-coming G8 Summit in Northern Ireland," the brief statement read.
- Atletico close in on title as late show downs Elche
- Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct
- S. Korea ferry captain arrested, divers enter ship
- 'South Korea ferry captain arrested'
- Hopkins putting Father Time on the ropes at 49
- Jews in east Ukraine worried after anti-Semitic tract
- Mugabe slams Europe’;s ‘homosexual nonsense’;
- Everest guide recalls horror of being ‘trapped’; by avalanche
- Italian lender backs 5 bn-euro share sale
- Shell head tells Putin wants to expand Russia operations
- Karpal and I never quarrelled even though we belonged to different parties, says Ling
- Law students hold candlelight vigil for Karpal
- Umno lawyer calls Karpal ‘one of the most ethical criminal lawyers’;
- Gerakan calls Karpal elder statesman, Samy Vellu cries over news of death
- Abdullah pays tribute to Karpal’s life of service – Bernama
- Underwater drone used in MH370 search diving to its extreme limits
- PAS to discuss Muslims’ use of ‘RIP’
- Malaysia, Australia in deal on black box custody: report
- 100 protest against Obama visit in front of US embassy
- The Economist hails Karpal as a rarity in politics
- Malaysian Muslims protest against Obama visit
- Convicting Anwar quickly was done in public interest, says Court of Appeal
- In Malaysia, very few politicians who stand up for their principles
- Utusan’;s bid to recuse judge in Anwar’;s case denied – Bernama
- Klia2 receives compliance certificate from main contractor – Bernama