US, Japan hold senior defense talks in Hawaii

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Associated Press

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 21 at 10:33 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — The top U.S. military commander in the Pacific is hosting Japan's most senior uniformed officer for talks on regional security and strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance.

Adm. Samuel Locklear from U.S. Pacific Command and Japan Self Defense Forces' joint chief, Gen. Shigeru Iwasaki, are meeting in Hawaii Thursday and Friday.

Staff Sgt. Carl Hudson, a Pacific Command spokesman, said Thursday that the meetings are a regularly scheduled consultation between the two allies.

He says the talks will give Locklear and Iwasaki an opportunity to discuss deepening cooperation and improving bilateral operations.

Kyodo News reports the two are to discuss joint operation plans for any contingency involving islands claimed by both Japan and China.

Hudson says the U.S. doesn't take sides in territorial disputes and encourages all parties to find a peaceful resolution.

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