U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged cooperation with China and a
greater U.S. engagement in Asia during a major speech in Tokyo
President Obama said the United States does not seek to contain China,
and welcomes its efforts to play a greater role on the world stage.
However, he said the United States will never waver in speaking up for
values it cherishes and said a discussion about human rights can take
place in a spirit of partnership.
Highlighting his own childhood in Indonesia, President Obama emphasized
America's ties to Asia as he made his first trip to the region since
becoming president. He said Washington's commitment to Asia's security
During his wide-ranging address, the president also spoke about nuclear
proliferation, climate change and the global economic downturn.
He urged North Korea to return to international talks on its nuclear
program, saying the United States will not be cowed by threats.
President Obama said Pyongyang has chosen a path of confrontation and provocation, which he said only leads to less security.
On fighting climate change, Mr. Obama said that while solutions on the
issue will be difficult, all nations must take action. He said
developed nations must have clear reduction targets and developing
countries need to take substantial action to curb their emissions.
The president also spoke about the global economy saying the world must
pursue balanced and sustainable economic growth and must not return to
the cycles of boom and bust that led to the financial crisis. He said
the global recession has shown the limits of depending heavily on
American consumers and Asian exports to drive growth.
President Obama also spoke about Burma, urging that country's military
government to release all political prisoners, including pro-democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He said reform on human rights will bring
Burma "true security and prosperity."
On Friday, Mr. Obama met with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama,
with both pledging to revitalize the long-standing alliance between
Japan was the first leg of Mr. Obama's eight-day tour of Asia. From
Tokyo, Mr. Obama traveled to Singapore for a summit of 21 Asia-Pacific
economies. Mr. Obama will then visit Shanghai and Beijing in China, and
Seoul, South Korea.