US and Japan to promote trilateral dialogue with India

Washington: Describing India as "a strong and enduring" Asia-Pacific partner, the US and Japan have said they would promote a trilateral dialogue with it to improve regional cooperation, while building trust with China.

"(We) welcome India as a strong and enduring Asia-Pacific partner and encourage India`s growing engagement with the region and participation in regional architectures," said a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the US-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting here.

It said they would "promote trilateral dialogue among the United States, Japan, and India."

"We talked about our efforts to improve regional cooperation in a variety of multilateral forums and through a trilateral dialogue with India," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters at the end of the meeting last evening.

The joint statement said the two countries also decided to encourage China`s responsible and constructive role in the regional stability and prosperity, its cooperation on global issues and its adherence to international norms of behaviour, while building trust among the US, Japan, and China.

The two sides stressed on improving openness and transparency with respect to China`s military modernisation and activities and, strengthening confidence building measures.

"While welcoming the progress to date in improving cross-Strait relations, (they will) encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues through dialogue," the joint statement said.

The statement said the two sides would also "encourage Russia`s constructive engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

Realise full normalisation of Japan and Russia relations through the resolution of the Northern Territories issue.

Discourage the pursuit and acquisition of military capabilities that could destabilise the regional security environment."

The US and Japan also called for promoting effective cooperation through open, multi-layered regional networks and rule-making mechanisms, including the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers` Meeting-Plus (ADMM+), Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the East Asia Summit (EAS).

"… we discussed our countries` ongoing work together and reaffirmed our commitment to maintain these efforts for as long as they are needed. We also made important progress on several initiatives that will enhance our ability to defend Japan and respond to a variety of threats to the security of the Asia-Pacific region," Clinton said.

On global issues, the two sides discussed joint efforts to advance peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, ensure Iran`s compliance with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and bring security against the pirates to the waters off the Horn of Africa, she said.

"But overall, we really celebrated the mutual respect and shared values that have served us so well for the past 50 years. As the US-Japan alliance enters its second half century, it remains indispensable to the peace, security and economic dynamism of the Asia-Pacific region," Clinton said.

On his part, Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto said the two sides discussed Japan-US security and defence cooperation in the future, and agreed on a deepening and expanding cooperation in a broad range of areas.

"In addition to regularising the extended deterrence consultations, including nuclear, in the area of so-called global commons, we also agreed to have consultations on space and cyberspace, as well," he said.