Noda, Obama to make joint call for new order in Asia-Pacific region

Kyodo

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and U.S. President Barack Obama are expected to issue a joint statement calling for deepening the Japan-U.S. alliance and a new order in the Asia-Pacific region after their summit in Washington from April 29 to May 2, Japanese officials said.

The joint statement is expected to say that the United States and Japan will deepen their alliance in a comprehensive range of fields, including security and the economy, taking into account the situation in North Korea and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific, the officials said Sunday.

Noda and Obama are also likely to state that the two countries will expand the dimension of their strategic partnership to the fields of outer space and cyberspace, and will cooperate in working toward establishing international rules in those areas.

The statement is also set to include further cooperation in energy, with an eye toward future U.S. exports of shale gas. Japan hopes to import the gas as it grapples with potential electricity shortages from the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Japanese and U.S. leaders have not held a full-fledged summit in Washington since the Democratic Party of Japan, headed by Noda, swept to power in September 2009.

The statement will portray the Japan-U.S. alliance as a “public good” for the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, and state that the two countries will play a leading role in establishing a new order in the region’s security and economic sectors.

It is also likely to stipulate a basic policy on realigning U.S. forces in Japan, emphasizing the goal of reducing the buildup in Okinawa Prefecture, home to a number of U.S. military bases.