Monday, March 19, 2012

Noda urges deepening alliance with US

Sunday, March 18, 2012 Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has expressed concern over the military activities of China and North Korea. He also called for deepening the alliance with the United States.Noda delivered a speech at a graduation ceremony of the National Defense Academy in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, on Sunday. Noda said the environment surrounding Japan is increasingly severe and complex, brimming with the lack of transparency. He cited North Korean actions, including the issue of its missiles, and China’s military buildup and intensified activities in waters off Japan. Japan prime minister stressed the need to defend the nation and protect its people under such a situation. He urged the graduating students to fulfill their duties of national defense. Noda also referred to the efforts of US forces in Japan following last year’s earthquake and tsunami. He said the US military made tremendous contributions with its “Operation Tomodachi”, meaning “friend”. He said the operation made him feel the strong bond of the Japan-US alliance.Noda said the alliance with the US must be deepened and developed, and he asked the prospective officers of the Japan Self Defense Forces to support the effort in their posts. Except for students from abroad, 372 students graduated from the National Academy this year. Four, or the smallest number of students since 1973, refused to join the Self Defense Forces. The academy said the main factor behind the small figure is the increased reputation of the Self Defense Forces due to the relief operation following last year’s disaster in northeast Japan. Media agencies

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