Clinton assures Japan on islands, invites Abe to US

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assured Japan on Friday of US support in Tokyo's dispute with Beijing over a string of islands and invited new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Washington in late February for a meeting with President Barack Obama.
Clinton held a working lunch with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and both emerged pledging that US-Japan security and economic ties would remain strong following Abe's landslide election victory last month.
"Our alliance with Japan remains the cornerstone of American engagement with the region," Clinton told reporters, noting a wide range of cooperation on everything from disaster relief to the stand-off over nuclear North Korea.
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