Japan PM Abe says achieved 'historic' success with Obama

TOKYO Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:45pm EDT

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he and U.S. President Barack Obama achieved a "historic" success in an agreement on security issues and made progress in bilateral trade talks.

"It was a historic statement for Japan and the United States," Abe told reporters shortly after Obama finished the first state visit to Japan by a U.S. president in 18 years.

The two countries issued a joint statement saying they oppose attempts to assert territorial or maritime claims by coercion, specifying that their bilateral security treaty covers Japanese islands claimed by China, and welcoming Japan's consideration of allowing its military to come to the defense of friendly countries under attack.

They failed to reach a bilateral trade deal that is key to both leaders' agendas. But Abe said they achieved a "key milestone" by making progress on the talks, which they said will inject "fresh momentum" into attempts to reach a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership pact.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko and Ritsuko Ando; Writing by William Mallard; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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