WASHINGTON (Kyodo) Japan is likely to participate in the United States’ review of its strategy in Afghanistan, sources close to Japanese-U.S. relations said Saturday.
The U.S. asked for Japan’s participation when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone in Tokyo on Tuesday, and Tokyo is beginning to discuss the request in a forward-looking manner as part of global efforts to stabilize the war-torn country, the sources said.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Taro Aso are expected to take up the matter during a summit planned Tuesday in Washington, they said.
A major donor to Afghanistan, Japan is preparing to host an international donor conference in late March on Pakistan, which holds the key to stabilizing Afghanistan.
In addition to Japan, Afghanistan, neighboring Pakistan and North Atlantic Treaty Organization member states that have sent troops to Afghanistan are also likely to take part in the review, the sources said.
A State Department official said the U.S. hopes Japan will appoint a government representative to participate in the interagency review.
Aso, Obama agenda
Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. President Barack Obama will reaffirm bilateral efforts to deal with global warming and promote development of alternative energy in their upcoming talks, Japanese government sources said Saturday.
Aso is scheduled to leave Japan on Monday night for Washington to meet Obama on Tuesday. Both leaders are expected to step up cooperation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a key topic in their talks, they said.
Aso will be the first foreign leader to meet Obama at the White House since he took office a month ago.
Both leaders will also agree to press ahead with concerted efforts to strengthen the bilateral alliance and address the situation in North Korea, including its nuclear weapons and missile programs.
Aso will also take up the abduction issue with Obama in hopes of receiving support on solving it, the sources said.
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