US-Japan alliance ‘the cornerstone’ of Indo-Pacific peace: Harris

Tokyo, Sep 26 (EFE).- US Vice President Kamala Harris underlined Washington’s commitment to defending its allies on Monday, calling the US-Japan relationship the “cornerstone of peace” in the volatile Indo-Pacific region.

Harris met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo after arriving in Japan to attend the grand state funeral of Shinzo Abe.

“The US-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” she said, according to a White House readout of the meeting between Harris and Kishida.

The two leaders discussed efforts to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific, and Harris “reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to Japan’s defense.”

They discussed “China’s recent aggressive and irresponsible provocations in the Taiwan Strait, and reaffirmed the importance of preserving peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

They “condemned recent ballistic missile launch by” North Korea and pledged to work together to address the threats posed by Pyongyang’s “nuclear and ballistic weapons program.”

They talked about the importance of resolving the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea.

“The Vice President welcomed our growing space cooperation, across commercial, civil, and security sectors, and discussed opportunities to expand our partnership in these areas.”

Harris also conveyed her condolences to Kishida on Abe’s assassination in July and highlighted the legacy left by him being the longest-serving Japanese prime minister (2012-2020).

She praised the assassinated leader “as a champion of the US-Japan Alliance and a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

She affirmed the US commitment to continue building on that legacy.

Harris is one of the most high-profile foreign dignitaries among the guests to attend Abe’s state funeral on Tuesday.

Among others who have confirmed their participation are European Council President Charles Michel, Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Harris, like other foreign leaders, will meet with Japanese government officials.

She will travel to South Korea after wrapping up her two-day Japan visit.

Representatives from at least 217 countries, territories, and international organizations have confirmed their participation at the state funeral. EFE


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