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Japan PM warns of security perils at Obama talks

Published on Nov 20, 2012 1:13 PM
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda arrives for a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama (not in picture) on the sidelines of the East Asian Summit at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on Nov 20, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

PHNOM PENH (AFP) - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Tuesday warned of an increasingly severe security environment in Asia amid raging territorial disputes, as he met US President Barack Obama.

The Japanese leader, widely expected to lose power in an election next month, held talks with Mr Obama on the sidelines of the East Asia summit in Cambodia, and praised the US leader's foreign policy pivot towards the region. "I welcome the US policy of placing importance on the Asia-Pacific region," Mr Noda said, speaking through a translator.

"With the increasing severity of the security environment in East Asia, the importance of the Japan-US alliance is increasing," he said.

Mr Obama, who often bills foreign trips as a trade-related extension of his effort to restore prosperity at home, said the two leaders would discuss "economic issues that the world is facing right now". He added it was "very important" for the allies to "coordinate effectively" on trade, investment and jobs.

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