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Last week a Fort Worth, Texas jury convicted a legal permanent resident from Mexico who is not a U.S. citizen of illegally casting ballots in five elections going back to 2004. Rosa Maria Ortega was sentenced to eight years in prison and could face deportation. Associated Press reporter Paul Weber joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the case. PBS NewsHour
President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held their first official meeting today in Washington D.C. and affirmed their strong determination to further strengthen the U.S.-Japan Alliance and economic relationship.
The unshakable U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace, prosperity, and freedom in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. commitment to defend Japan through the full range of U.S. military capabilities, both nuclear and conventional, is unwavering. Amid an increasingly difficult security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, the United States will strengthen its presence in the region, and Japan will assume larger roles and responsibilities in the alliance. The United States and Japan will continue to implement and expand defense cooperation as laid out in the 2015 U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines. The United States and Japan will further enhance cooperation with allies and partners in the region. The two leaders underscored the importance of maintaining international order based upon the rule of law.
The two leaders affirmed the commitment of the United States and Japan to the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, to ensure the long-term, sustainable presence of U.S. forces. They affirmed that the United States and Japan are committed to the plan to construct the Futenma Replacement Facility at the Camp Schwab/Henoko area and in adjacent waters. It is the only solution that avoids the continued use of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
The two leaders affirmed that Article V of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security covers the Senkaku Islands. They oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands. The United States and Japan will deepen cooperation to safeguard the peace and stability of the East China Sea. The two leaders underscored the importance of maintaining a maritime order based on international law, including freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea. The United States and Japan oppose any attempt to assert maritime claims through the use of intimidation, coercion or force. The United States and Japan also call on countries concerned to avoid actions that would escalate tensions in the South China Sea, including the militarization of outposts, and to act in accordance with international law.
The United States and Japan strongly urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and not to take any further provocative actions. The U.S.-Japan Alliance is fully capable of ensuring the security of Japan. The United States is fully committed to defending its homeland, forces, and allies, through the full range of U.S. military capabilities. The two leaders affirmed the importance of an early resolution of the abductions issue. They also affirmed the importance of trilateral cooperation among the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The United States and Japan are also committed to rigorous implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea.
The United States and Japan will strengthen their bilateral technological cooperation on defense innovation to meet the evolving security challenges. The United States and Japan will also expand bilateral security cooperation in the fields of space and cyberspace. The United States and Japan also strongly condemn terrorism in all forms and manifestations and will enhance our cooperation to fight against terrorist groups that pose a global threat.
The two leaders instructed their foreign and defense ministers to convene a Security Consultative Committee (SCC: “2+2”) meeting to identify ways to further strengthen the U.S.-Japan Alliance, including through the review of the respective roles, missions, and capabilities of the two countries.
U.S.-Japan Economic Relations
The United States and Japan represent 30 percent of the world’s GDP and share an interest in sustaining a strong global economy, ensuring financial stability, and growing job opportunities. To advance these interests, the President and the Prime Minister reaffirmed their commitments to using the three-pronged approach of mutually-reinforcing fiscal, monetary, and structural policies to strengthen domestic and global economic demand.
The two leaders discussed opportunities and challenges facing each of their economies and the need to promote inclusive growth and prosperity in their countries, the Asia-Pacific region, and the world. They emphasized that they remain fully committed to strengthening the economic relationships between their two countries and across the region, based on rules for free and fair trade. This will include setting high trade and investment standards, reducing market barriers, and enhancing opportunities for economic and job growth in the Asia-Pacific.
The United States and Japan reaffirmed the importance of both deepening their trade and investment relations and of their continued efforts in promoting trade, economic growth, and high standards throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Toward this end, and noting that the United States has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the leaders pledged to explore how best to accomplish these shared objectives. This will include discussions between the United States and Japan on a bilateral framework as well as Japan continuing to advance regional progress on the basis of existing initiatives.
In addition, the two leaders expressed interest in exploring cooperation across sectors that promote mutual economic benefits to the United States and Japan.
The two leaders decided to have their countries engage in an economic dialogue to discuss these and other issues. They also reaffirmed their intent to continue cooperation in regional and global fora.
Invitations to Visit Japan
Prime Minister Abe invited President Trump for an official visit to Japan during the course of this year, and also welcomed an early visit of Vice President Pence to Tokyo. President Trump accepted these invitations.