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U.S. Ambassador Thomas Foley stressed Tuesday that Japan must urgently revitalize its economy and its financial system.

Foley said that restructuring the banking system, achieving domestic-demand-led growth and opening and deregulating markets are vitally important not only for Japan but also for the recovery of Asia. He said the prompt disposal of bad assets and the implementation of growth supporting fiscal policies are important.

In addition, Foley suggested that improved relations between the United States and China do not signal Washington’s decreasing emphasis on the U.S.-Japanese partnership. “The foundation of our partnership has been the U.S.-Japan security alliance, which for over four decades has been a cornerstone of American engagement in East Asia and a key to stability and prosperity in the Pacific region,” Foley said.

Foley said he was puzzled by some commentators’ suggestions that warmer Sino-U.S. ties somehow undermine Japanese-U.S. relations, adding that they suggested a few years ago that cooler Sino-U.S. relations would undermine Washington’s ties with Tokyo.

He said China is a country of great resources and enormous potential and could be an important force for stability in East Asia.

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