Clinton: U.S.-Japan relations 'secure'

Jan. 29, 2013 at 9:58 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S.-Japan relationship is a "very secure one," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, adding the Trans-Pacific Partnership would enhance the ties.

Speaking from Washington to an international group of students, Clinton was asked by a Japanese student about the future of bilateral relations since their economic ties appeared to be getting weaker. She was also asked about the TPP, a U.S.-led free-trade zone initiative that currently includes Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Japan wants to join the talks but there is much opposition in the country because of concerns among certain sections that the TPP's tariff-eliminating clauses would cause cheaper foreign goods to flood Japan, threatening its highly protected farming and agriculture industry.

Clinton said the relationship between the two countries "is a very secure one, and what we want is to look for new ways that we can work together on behalf of our common values and our hopes for the future."

She said she certainly believes "the Trans-Pacific Partnership holds great benefits for Japan's economy," adding the economies of the two countries have expanded on a broader scale as consumers in many emerging democracies or emerging economies are now demanding more goods and services.

She said Japan and the United States have comparative advantage in that the two are "high tech, we have highly educated workforces," and that the TPP "is one way that could really enhance our relationship."

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