US President Barack Obama and Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda pledged in a phone call today to work together to support the global economy and Asia’s security, the White House said.
“The two leaders underscored the enduring nature of the US-Japan friendship and alliance, and its critical importance to the peace and stability of the Asia Pacific,” a White House statement said.
“The president and (Noda) also pledged to work closely together to re-energise the global economy and promote strong, sustainable and balanced growth,” it said.
Parliament on Tuesday approved Noda to become Japan’s sixth new prime minister in the past five years, amid chronic unpopularity of both major political parties in the close US ally.
On taking office in 2009, the Obama administration moved quickly to demonstrate a commitment to relations with Japan, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton choosing Tokyo for her first foreign visit.
But relations have since seen hiccups amid the persistent instability in Japanese politics and a feud over the status of a controversial US military base on the southern island of Okinawa.
Noda faces a tough array of challenges, including reviving growth in the world’s third-largest economy and leading a recovery following the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northeastern coast in March.