Kurt Campbell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs, made a brief stop Thursday in Tokyo to talk up bilateral ties despite simmering discord over where to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

The senior diplomat, who met with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada ahead of a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Tokyo next week, said bilateral ties with Japan are as firm as ever.

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