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Remarks by Vice President Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Abe

Speakers: Shinzo Abe, and Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Published December 3, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered remarks to the press in Tokyo on December 3, 2013. The meeting was the beginning of the vice president's travel in Asia, to discuss the Obama administration's rebalance to Asia and China's announcement of an Air Defense Identification Zone.

Excerpt from remarks:

"PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) I am very much delighted to welcome Vice President Biden here in Japan after meeting in Singapore in July. We had discussion in a candid manner over various matters of interest between the United States and Japan an issues surrounding this region.

First and foremost, Vice President Biden and I confirmed that the United States and Japan alliance will continue to play a pivotal role for peace and stability of this region.

Then we discussed announcement of establishing East China Sea air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, by China and confirmed that we should not tolerate the attempt by China to change status quo unilaterally by force, and we will continue to work closely in dealing with the situation based on strong U.S.-Japan alliance.

Above all, we reaffirmed that policies and measures, including those on operation of the self-defense forces and U.S. forces will not change, and that we will meet in close cooperation. We further agreed that we will not condone any action that could threaten safety of civilian aircraft.

Then I explained that the government of Japan will work on construction over time of a replacement facility in a resolute manner, given its extreme importance in advancing cooperation based on alliance.

On TPP, I stated that at the final phase of negotiation, political solution has to be sought on difficult issues for participating countries. I explained farther that Japan and the United States need to solve major pending issues through cooperation, and then should show a path toward conclusion of negotiation within this year.

We also affirmed that U.S.-Japan cooperation is not confined to this region, but rather is expanding in diversified sectors throughout the world, such as cooperation in Southeast Asia, support to Middle East, support for women, health care among others. And we will continue to work together in those areas."

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