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Published: Friday, 1/18/2013

Japan's new PM to visit White House in February


WASHINGTON  — The U.S. says Japan's new prime minister will meet President Barack Obama at the White House in the third week of February.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made the announcement today after meeting her Japanese counterpart.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power last month. He is eager to make an early trip to Washington to underscore his desire to make the U.S. alliance the cornerstone of his foreign policy.

Clinton said she reiterated to Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida the U.S. treaty commitments to Japan regarding an island chain also claimed by China. The dispute has escalated tensions in Northeast Asia.

Without mentioning China, Clinton said the U.S. would oppose any unilateral action that would undermine Japan's administration of the islands.

She urged the sides to manage their disagreements peacefully.

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