Japan says it aims to bolster US alliance amid tough security environment

February 3, 2017 12:40

TOKYO -- Japan's foreign minister on Friday told visiting US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis he wanted to further strengthen Tokyo's alliance with Washington amid an increasingly severe security environment in the Asia-Pacific region.

Fumio Kishida made the comment at the start of his meeting with Mattis, who arrived in Japan after a visit to South Korea on his debut trip as defense secretary.US officials said Mattis' choice of destination was intended to reaffirm ties with the two Asian allies after US President Donald Trump appeared to question the cost of such relationships during his election campaign.

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