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Remarks by President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Abe

Speakers: Barack Obama, and Shinzo Abe
Published April 25, 2014

President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo held this press conference on April 24, 2014, and released several fact sheets on U.S.-Japan collaboration in the areas of security, stability and prosperity, technology, and energy. President Obama traveled to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Phillipines as part of his administration's rebalance to Asia, a policy to strengthen U.S. economic and political relations in the region.

Excerpt from remarks:


We stand together in calling for disputes in the region, including maritime issues, to be resolved peacefully through dialogue. We share a commitment to fundamental principles such as freedom of navigation and respect for international law. And let me reiterate that our treaty commitment to Japan's security is absolute, and Article 5 covers all territories under Japan's administration, including the Senkaku Islands.

Our two nations are united along with the Republic of Korea in our determination to bring about the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and in our firm response to North Korea's provocations. And we stand with Japan as it seeks to resolve the tragedy of North Korea's abductions of Japanese citizens.

Beyond Northeast Asia, Japan and the United States are working together to enhance our economic and diplomatic and security coordination with our ASEAN partners in Southeast Asia. We're deepening our cooperation as global partners, from the relief we delivered together after the typhoon in the Philippines last year to our unified response to Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.

We made important progress in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, which will support good jobs and growth in the United States as well as economic reform and revitalization here in Japan. We're closer to agreement on issues like automobiles and agriculture. I've been very clear and honest that American manufacturers and farmers need to have meaningful access to markets that are included under TPP, including here in Japan. That's what will make it a good deal for America -- for our workers and our consumers, and our families. That's my bottom line, and I can't accept anything less.

At the same time, Prime Minister Abe is committed to renewing Japan's economy, and TPP is a vital part of that. As I've told Shinzo, Japan has the opportunity -- in part through TPP -- to play a key leadership role in the Asia Pacific region for this century. So now is the time for bold steps that are needed to reach a comprehensive agreement, and I continue to believe we can get this done.

I would add that our countries are more prosperous when we tap the talents of all of our citizens. So I want to commend the Prime Minister for his commitment to bringing more women into the work force. And because our economic security also depends on energy security, we're going to keep working together on clean and efficient alternatives to fossil fuels both at home and abroad that can power the global economy while combating climate change.

Finally, I'm pleased that we continue to deepen the extraordinary ties between our people, especially our young people, like the Japanese students that I'll be meeting later today. And I'm proud to announce that we're launching a new program that will help even more Japanese students come to the United States to improve their English-language skills and gain valuable experience working in American businesses and organizations. And that's part of our effort to double student exchanges by 2020 -- bonds among our young people that can bring us closer together for decades to come.

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