News / Asia

North Korea, Maritime Disputes, Key Topics in Obama-Abe Talks

Japan's PM Shinzo Abe (photo January 2013)
Japan's PM Shinzo Abe (photo January 2013)
President Barack Obama and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold talks at the White House Friday.  They will focus on the U.S. - Japan alliance and regional security challenges, including North Korea and maritime tensions between Japan and China.

Friday's talks will be divided into two parts, one on regional security and global issues, and a working lunch dealing with economic issues.

The first round will cover maritime disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea, including Japan's dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands.

International issues such as Iran, Afghanistan, events in North Africa and counter-terrorism are also on the agenda.

The two leaders discussed North Korea during a telephone conversation a week ago, pledging "significant actions" at the United Nations, and other steps.

Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes says Obama and Prime Minister Abe will discuss challenges posed by Pyongyang to the U.S. and its allies.

"As the president said in the State of the Union [address] our response to the North Korean nuclear test and its broader pattern of provocative acts must start with very firm U.S commitments to the security of our allies, Japan and South Korea.  It will have to include close coordination with Japan and South Korea," said Rhodes.

Rhodes said the response includes support and investment in missile defense, and international action at the United Nations Security Council, though he offered no further details.

Danny Russel, Senior Director for Asia on the National Security Council, says Obama wants an update on diplomatic efforts to prevent tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over the Senkakus from escalating.

"The president, I am sure, will value hearing the prime minister's assessment and will welcome any and all constructive steps to engage diplomatically and to manage the maritime situation in a way that prevents the risk of miscalculation," said Russel.

Nicholas Szechenyi is Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"I think the most important point is that the United States really doesn't want to accept any efforts that would challenge Japan's control [of the islands] through coercion," said Szechenyi. "And I think that is the theme that has emerged in recent months."

Szechenyi expects Prime Minister Abe to reassure Obama of efforts to work with Beijing for a diplomatic solution to the dispute.

The Obama-Abe talks will include discussion of the still unresolved question of Japan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new U.S.-led free trade group.

The U.S. and Japan have been trying to resolve some outstanding bilateral trade sector issues that have blocked Japanese participation.

Mike Froman, Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs addressed U.S. auto worker's concerns that Japan has not made enough progress opening its automobile sector.

"We take those concerns very seriously and we are in consultations with Japan over those issues," said Froman.

White House officials say President Obama has always placed a high priority on the U.S. relationship and alliance with Japan.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs