The United States on Tuesday tried to downplay differences with the new Japanese government over key foreign policy issues as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was ready to discuss "their ideas".
The US administration sought to get off to "a good start" with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's government as Clinton held her first meeting with her Japanese counterpart Katsuya Okada, amidst report that one of its closest ally Tokyo would reconsider its Indian Ocean refuelling mission for Afghanistan.
However, the Obama Administration tried to downplay the differences, as Clinton told reporters at Waldorf-Astoria in New York along with Okada that no single issue can define the US-Japanese relationship.
"Our relationship between Japan and the United States is so broad and so deep that there isn’t any one issue that defines it. It is comprehensive and it has stood the test of time for many years," Clinton said.
"I am looking forward to working with the minister, and on behalf of the Obama Administration, really rolling up our sleeves and determining how best we can broaden and deepen this already very strong relationship," she said.