UPDATE 1-Abe: Japan acting calmly in island dispute with China

Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:51pm EST

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON Feb 22 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday said he told President Barack Obama in a meeting that Japan would act calmly in its row with China over tiny islands in the East China Sea claimed by both Asian countries.

"I explained that we have always been dealing with this issue ... in a calm manner," he said through a translator, while sitting next to Obama in the White House Oval Office.

"We will continue to do so and we have always done so," he said.

Tension has raised fears of an unintended military incident near the islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. Washington says the islets fall under a U.S.-Japan security pact, but it is eager to avoid a clash in the region.

Abe said the existence of the Japan-U.S. alliance was a stabilizing factor in the area.

"We agreed that we would stay in close coordination with each other in dealing with such issues and other issues," he said.

Obama, in his remarks to reporters, said Japan was one of the United States' closest allies. He said the two men would discuss trade and other economic issues and agreed that their top priority was economic growth.

Obama declined to answer a reporter's question on whether they would discuss the Japanese yen.

Expectations for Abe's economic programs, especially monetary easing, have cut some 10 percent off the yen's value against the U.S. dollar since Abe took office, raising concern that Japan is weakening its currency to export its way out of recession.

Obama and Abe also discussed North Korea and agreed to cooperate at the United Nations over the issue. Abe said the two men also talked about additional sanctions against North Korea, which tested a nuclear bomb last week in defiance of U.N. resolutions.

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Comments (3)
zepryti wrote:
One would suppose the topic of the militarization of Japan is the topic that will be discussed. With the necessary budget constraints in the US because of lagging deficits. What one country throughout history has been able to subdue this region of the world; Japan. It is the natural progression to adjust the WW 2 agreement. To allow the Japanese the ability to increase in size and spending their military capabilities. Move from a more defense structure to a offensive military.
With the advent of the Chinese aggressive moves over the islands in the South China Sea. ( I believe the Chinese have sovereign rights over these islands. The puppet country of North Korea with China pulling the strings and the North’s threats of intimidation, which are hollow until they have nuclear capabilities. The Chinese by the aggression over the islands and the allowance of the Koreans nuclear program has wakened the sleeping military giant Japan.
What better way to spark a Japanese lack luster economy than to have a military build up. The United States with the slow down of our military build up, must have many armaments to sell. The military industrial complex would have to help supply the Japanese new military.

Feb 22, 2013 4:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Robert739 wrote:
Just a lot of talk Japan. As a wise leader once said. It’s easy to start a war, but much tougher to build a strong economy. Korea has already surpassed Japan in LG Samsung, KIA. and many fields. Japan’s problem is beyond help. 240% debt to GDP ratio has way passed the point of no return. The Japan government’s policies are desperate and are as stupid as ever.

Feb 23, 2013 5:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Robert739 wrote:
So blatantly obvious, Shinzo Abe, his grand father, Nobusuke Kishi, committed Japan’s war crimes during its brutal aggression in WWII against China and other Asian neighbors, including its unprecedented military sexual slavery and many of those crimes against humanity. Or else why Shinzo Abe would shamelessly go so far to deny the crime of his own family by rallying his people in denial and even change their
history text books and now even try the media and the world. But I guess he did not expect social media to be so prominent to shine the light on the facts.

Feb 23, 2013 5:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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