WASHINGTON - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was set to hold a summit meeting with US President Barack Obama on Tuesday morning aimed at strengthening bilateral co-operation.
Bilateral co-operation covers a wide range of fields, including security based on new defence co-operation guidelines and the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade agreement.
The Abe-Obama summit meeting would be the first since the two leaders met in Australia in November last year.
They were also expected to demonstrate a solid bilateral front to the international community.
They were to release the Japan-US Joint Vision Statement to reaffirm the Japan-US alliance, which has deepened in the fields of security and economy over the 70 years since the end of World War II.
The two countries "work together to advance common interests and universal values in Asia and globally," the joint statement says.
With China's unilateral land reclamation in the South China Sea in mind, Abe and Obama were to reaffirm the importance of the rule of law in the oceans and clarify their stance that changing the status quo by force cannot be permitted.
The two leaders were also expected to discuss the relocation of the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to the Henoko district of Nago in the same prefecture.
Abe was expected to tell Obama that the Japanese government will proceed with the relocation plan while, at the same time, winning the understanding of the Okinawa prefectural government and local residents.
The prime minister was also expected to request that the United States ease the burden of Okinawa Prefecture for hosting US bases and eliminate any danger the bases pose.
Abe and Obama were also expected to agree that the two countries should closely co-operate to realise an early conclusion of the TPP negotiations.
They were also expected to confirm that Japan and the United States will keep in step with each other in dealing with the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The two leaders were expected to stress that Japan and the United States will exercise their leadership in tackling challenges facing the international community, including terrorism, infectious diseases and natural disasters, and co-operate each other.
The joint statement set to be issued after the summit meeting says "former adversaries became "steadfast allies," describing the change in the bilateral relationship as "a model of the power of reconciliation."
The joint statement also states that the "unshakable Alliance" is "the cornerstone of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region and a platform for global co-operation."
In an apparent reference to the South China Sea situation, the joint statement expressed alarm regarding China's unilateral actions, saying, "State actions that undermine respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity by attempting to unilaterally change the status quo by force or coercion pose challenges to the international order."