Biden arrives in Tokyo

Aug. 22, 2011 at 11:45 PM
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TOKYO, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met Tuesday with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in Tokyo to discuss Japan's earthquake-related reconstruction, officials said.

Biden, who arrived from Mongolia on the final leg on his Asian tour, expressed continued U.S. support as Japan recovers from the devastation of the March earthquake and tsunami, officials of both nations said. The support would include containing the nuclear crisis at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Kyodo News reported.

The vice president also planned to visit Sendai, capital of Miyagi Prefecture, one of the provinces hit by the disaster. Biden would become the highest-ranking U.S. official to make such a visit.

In Mongolia, Biden praised the nation's "remarkable" transition to democracy" in the past two decades, including five elections.

Biden met with Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold to discuss ways to improve Mongolian trade and economic relations with the United States and attract more U.S. investments to the country.

Prior to visiting Mongolia, Biden met with top leaders in China and ended his trip assuring the Chinese that the United States would never default on its debt. Throughout his trip, the official Chinese media had been reminding that Beijing is America's largest foreign creditor, holding $1.16 trillion of U.S. debt as of June.

Biden's trip comes at a time when efforts are under way to resume the six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament, stalled since December 2008. Parties to the talks include the United States, China, Japan, the two Koreas and Russia.

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