NEW YORK (Kyodo) The new administration may be seeking a more independent relationship with the United States, but Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reaffirmed during their first meeting Monday the importance of the bilateral alliance.

Okada, speaking to reporters after the talks, said he did not broach the issue of alleged secret security pacts between Tokyo and Washington despite having earlier vowed to take up the issue with Clinton.

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