Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed in telephone talks late Sunday that they hope to strengthen the bilateral security alliance.
The Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and Japan hopes to strengthen it because regional security has increasingly become strained, Kishida said in the talks.
Agreeing with Kishida, Kerry said the United States welcomes the roles Japan has played on regional and global issues.
The two also agreed to cooperate closely in urging North Korea to refrain from a nuclear test.
Secrets pact sought with Italy
Japan and Italy will begin negotiations Tuesday toward an agreement aimed at protecting classified security information exchanged between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
Toshiko Abe, parliamentary vice foreign minister, agreed with Italian Defense Minister Giampaolo Di Paola in Munich on Sunday to start the talks. The first round will be held Tuesday and Wednesday in Rome.
Japan has concluded similar treaties with the U.S., France and NATO, according to the ministry.