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Meeting with US Secretary of State Clinton

Meeting with US Secretary of State Clinton
On February 17, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada had a meeting for the first time with visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The meeting was also attended by Vice-Minister of Defense Kohei Masuda and Chief of Staff, Joint Staff Takashi Saito on the Japanese side and Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and Commander of US Forces in Japan Edward Rice on the US side.
    "I strongly believe that the alliance between the United States and Japan is one of the most important in the world," Secretary Clinton said. "We should strive for the continuation of this alliance based on 50 years of experience." She also expressed her gratitude for Japan's activities in Iraq and the continuation of refueling activities in the Indian Ocean. Defense Minister Hamada replied that Secretary Clinton's words confirm that Japan and the United States are of one mind, and vowed to continue to make efforts to strengthen the alliance. Furthermore, Secretary Clinton appreciated the MOD's preparation efforts for the dispatch of Self-Defense Force vessels to water off the Somali coast.
    Secretary Clinton also stated that defense was at the core of the values that the two countries share, suggesting that Japan should participate in more UN peacekeeping operations. Hamada noted that Japan would consider how it can contribute to PKOs in spite of various restrictions.
    The two shared views on the steady implementation of the realignment of US forces in Japan.

Signing of the Agreement on the Relocation of US Marine Corps from Okinawa to Guam
Signing of the Agreement on the Relocation of US Marine Corps from Okinawa to Guam
On February 17, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a meeting and signed the agreement on the relocation of a part of US Marine Corps from Okinawa to Guam.
    The agreement confirms the relevant provisions of the United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation (agreed upon in May 2006) and secures actions taken by governments, including necessary funding for the relocation. It also ensures the proper management, by the US government, of the funds provided by Japan and the fair, impartial and equitable treatment of all participants in projects for the relocation.
    The agreement provides legal grounding for actions by both governments, including funding over multiple fiscal years and procedures for the proper management of Japanese funds (up to $2.8 billion) by the US government.