Japan, South Korea reaffirm alliance with U.S. ahead of presidential election - Kogonuso


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Nov 9, 2016

Japan, South Korea reaffirm alliance with U.S. ahead of presidential election

Elizabeth Shim

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy listen to President Barack Obama during a ceremony in Hiroshima in May. Kishida said on Tuesday the alliance with the United States is the axis of Japanese diplomacy regardless of the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
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Japan and South Korea reaffirmed their solid commitment to alliances with the United States ahead of the U.S. presidential election.
"Regardless of who becomes president, the U.S.-Japan alliance is the axis of Japanese diplomacy," Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on Tuesday, according to NHK and Kyodo news agency.
Kishida also said that he had heard it is a "tight race" and that he will be "paying attention" to the results.
Tokyo is concerned about the growing presence of Chinese vessels in the East China Sea and North Korea's proliferation of nuclear weapons.
"Japan and the United States must work together for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the international community...we will work closely with the new administration," Kishida said Tuesday.
In South Korea, Seoul's foreign ministry spokesman Cho Joon-hyuk said the government would continue to work to develop the U.S.-South Korea alliance "regardless of the outcome" of the presidential elections, local news service No Cut News reported.
"Immediately after the elections the government will actively engage in efforts to establish a quick and seamless relationship with the next U.S. administration, to secure policy continuity through close communication," Cho said on Tuesday.
While Tokyo and Seoul issued carefully worded statements, both governments have been closely monitoring the campaign rhetoric of both candidates.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has stressed the importance of strengthening U.S. alliances with countries like Japan and South Korea while Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has suggested China take more responsibility for North Korea while saying South Korea and Japan do not pay the United States enough for the security it provides to them.
Tokyo and Seoul are also pursuing negotiations that could lead to a military intelligence sharing agreement between the two countries.
South Korean newspaper Kukmin Ilbo reported the two sides are nearing a Japan-Korea GSOMIA agreement. The deal may conclude at the end of November or early December, according to the report.

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