U.S. President Barack Obama has told a news conference that a strong alliance with Japan should not be seen as a provocation to China while Japan's PM Abe says the relationship is ''indispensable'' to world peace. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe he shared Japan's concerns about China's assertive behavior in maritime disputes with its neighbors and assured him of the U.S. commitment to defending Japanese territory, including tiny islands that Beijing claims. Speaking at a joint news conference in the White House Rose Garden, Obama said a strong U.S.-Japan alliance should not be seen as a provocation to China, but he sought to put to rest any Japanese doubts on whether Washington would stand by Tokyo in any possible confrontation with Beijing. "I want to reiterate that our treaty commitment to Japan's security is absolute," Obama said with Abe standing at his side. Obama also said he and Abe agreed their nations would work together to bring a quick, successful conclusion to talks over a 12-member Pacific trade agreement, despite the failure of U.S. and Japanese negotiators to work out the final details of a U.S.-Japan trade deal essential to any broader accord.