By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
TOKYO, Oct. 2, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived here today where he will conclude a week-long trip aimed at fostering key alliances.
Hagel said earlier this week that it is important to assure allies of U.S. commitment to those alliances as the United States faces ongoing budget issues and a government shutdown.
The secretary’s main purpose for visiting Tokyo is to take part, along with Secretary of State John Kerry and their Japanese counterparts, in “two plus two” consultations between U.S. and Japanese foreign and defense ministers.
This event is the first time such high-level meetings have occurred in Japan’s capital, and comes as the Japanese government is reportedly considering the future roles of Japan’s self-defense forces. Hagel and Kerry are also scheduled to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.
In Seoul, South Korea, the secretary celebrated the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea alliance; participated in the 45th Security Consultative Meeting; presided over the U.S. Forces Korea change of command ceremony and visited with U.S. and South Korean troops.
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