Secretary Blinken And Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa Before Their Meeting

FOREIGN MINISTER HAYASHI: Tony, I am delighted to welcome you in Tokyo. And amid the lovely evolving strategic environment surrounding us, it is significant that we are able to hold a Quad leaders’ meeting tomorrow here in Tokyo supporting our ministerial meeting in February. And notwithstanding ongoing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, after today is a summit meeting with Japan and the U.S., who are able to, number one, share the strategic importance of Indo-Pacific region, and number two, renew our commitment to peace and prosperity of the region.

So keeping in mind the discussion had between the two leaders, I look forward to have a candid discussion with you on an agenda such as regional issues and measures to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance. So over to you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Yogi, thank you. It’s wonderful, as always, to be with you, especially to be here in Tokyo. Our two leaders had, I think, a very, very substantive and extremely productive discussion that went on for some time covering a broad range of issues, which I think is further evidence of the fact that our alliance between Japan and the United States is stronger than it’s ever been, and more important in many ways than it’s ever been. We’re working together bilaterally; we’re working together regionally; we’re working together globally.

And I think that’s brought home again with the events of today and tomorrow where you’re hosting the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, and tomorrow, another leaders’ meeting of the Quad. We are grateful for this partnership. At challenging times like these, having such close partners and friends as Japan is particularly meaningful. So it’s great to be with you, great to be with you here in Tokyo, and I look forward to a good conversation.

FOREIGN MINISTER HAYASHI: Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thank you.

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