US-Japan alliance 'cornerstone' of stability: Mattis
US Defense Secretary James Mattis told his Japanese counterpart on Saturday that their alliance remained a "cornerstone" of regional stability as he wrapped up a visit aimed at reassuring key Asian allies about Washington's commitment to their security.
Japan and the US have a decades-long security alliance while US-South Korea military ties date back to the 1950-53 Korean War. But on the campaign trail, US President Donald Trump accused Seoul and Tokyo of not paying their fair share for US troops stationed in their countries, sparking concerns about the future of the security alliances.Mattis arrived in Japan on Friday from South Korea and his visit to the region marks the first overseas trip by a senior official from the Trump administration.Mattis, a former Marine general who has served in both Japan and South Korea, made clear in no uncertain terms that the United States was ready to answer any threats the two countries may face."We see the alliance between ourselves and Japan as a cornerstone of peace, prosperity and freedom in the Asia Pacific area," he said at the start of discussions with Japanese defence minister Tomomi Inada."It will continue as strong as ever."
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