Hillary Clinton arrives in Japan on start of Asia tour

February 17th, 2009 - 3:35 am ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Feb 17 (DPA) US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Tokyo Monday, kicking off her first visit abroad since taking office last month.

The global economic downturn, North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme as well as bilateral relations were expected to feature prominently in talks Tuesday with Japan’s top leaders.

Clinton and her Japanese counterpart, Hirofumi Nakasone, are also to sign an agreement to transfer 8,000 US soldiers from the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to Guam, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean.

Japan has been the United States’ closest Asian ally for more than five decades.

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