Japan to step up security cooperation with US: Minister

Written by: Pti
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Tokyo, July 15: Japan wants to step up security cooperation with the United States following a bilateral accord last month to enhance the two countries'' alliance, Japan Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto told today (Jul 15).

Matsumoto also expressed gratitude to Adm Michael Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, presently in the country, for support provided by US forces for victims of the March 11 quake and tsunami under Operation Tomodachi, named after the Japanese word for friend.

Mullen told the minister that the United States is "proud of our relationship and obviously from my perspective, it was very easy to give that kind of support" to Japan in an emergency.

Washington mobilised more than 20,000 personnel, around 160 aircraft and 20 vessels from the US military for relief activities under Operation Tomodachi.

Mullen is scheduled to visit disaster-stricken areas including Sendai tomorrow, according to a Defence Ministry official.

PTI (Kyodo)

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