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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 November 14 - 20  > Fukuda pledges to Bush to make ‘utmost effort’ to resume MSDF refueling mission
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2007 November 14 - 20 [FOREIGN POLICY]

Fukuda pledges to Bush to make ‘utmost effort’ to resume MSDF refueling mission

November 18, 2007
Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo and U.S. President George W. Bush on November 16 held their first talks at the White House.

Fukuda vowed that he will make the “utmost effort” to get an anti-terrorism special measures bill enacted as early as possible in order to resume the Maritime Self-Defense force refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

Bush expressed his hope for the early resumption of Japan’s refueling operation, stating, “I appreciate the great leadership that Prime Minister Fukuda is showing.”

Both leaders stressed the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance. Bush stated, “Our alliance is vital for peace and security;” Fukuda stated. The “Japan-U.S. alliance is playing an indispensable role in enabling Japan and the U.S. to address global issues together, and also provides the basis for our active diplomacy vis-a-vis Asia.”

Asserting that the Japan-U.S. security setup serves as the basis for Japan-U.S. relations, Fukuda and Bush stressed the importance of the “strengthening of deterrence.” They agreed on the steady implementation of the plan to realign the U.S. forces in Japan as well as extend and strengthen the Japan-U.S. military alliance to meet global challenges.

Fukuda also promised to settle early on the issue of payment of expenses for U.S. forces in Japan that the U.S. has pressed Japan to do.

Concerning the North Korean nuclear issue, both leaders agreed to maintain close coordination to achieve the complete abandonment of all nuclear weapons and programs by North Korea through the six-party talks.
- Akahata, November 18, 2007
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