Remarks With Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida Before Their Meeting

Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
Tokyo, Japan
March 16, 2017

FOREIGN MINISTER KISHIDA: (Via interpreter) Well, Secretary Tillerson, I first would like to extend my heartfelt welcome to you on your visit to Japan. I’m very pleased about your visit and (inaudible) timing of your (inaudible). I highly value the fact that you chose Japan as your first place for a visit in Asia, which indicates the U.S. (inaudible) importance to Japan and the Japan-U.S. alliance.

In the recent Japan-U.S. summit meeting, Prime Minister Abe and President Trump sent out a strong message that the bond of Japan-U.S. alliance is unwavering, and also offered direction to challenges that Japan and the U.S. should work together by issuing a joint statement. Well, based on the results gained at the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, today I would like to have a candid discussion with the U.S. on ways to promote our comity and cooperation.

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Thank you very much, Minister Kishida, for the warm welcome. It is a pleasure to see you again. Obviously, as I travel to the region, this being my first stop I think does underscore the importance that the United States places on the Japanese-U.S. relationship, but also the importance of the Asia Pacific region to the United States. And I think, as you indicated in the exchange of our two leaders, the U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone to peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region.

I think it’s important while we’re here together strengthening our bilateral relationship as well as with the Republic of Korea, our trilateral cooperation is critical in particular as we address North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Our long history together, I know, and our – the importance we place regionally, we will build on our shared values of a commitment to rule of law, commitment to international norms, and under those conditions we will promote stability and prosperity for the entire region. And I look forward to a very open and frank exchange, Fumio, with yourself and I and our colleagues as we continue to progress on a number of issues of importance to both of our countries. Thank you.