http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/obama-to-welcome-noda-at-white-house-on-april-30
 

Obama to host Noda at White House on April 30

WASHINGTON —

U.S. President Barack Obama will host Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Washington on April 30, for their first meeting since North Korea’s rocket launch, the White House said Tuesday.

Obama wants to address a “wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including the U.S.-Japan security alliance, economic and trade issues, and deepening bilateral cooperation,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

“The two leaders will also discuss regional and global security concerns,” Carney said in a statement—with North Korea’s rocket launch likely high on that agenda.

The April 30 meeting will be the second one-on-one talks between the two leaders, and the first at the White House. Noda took office in August 2011.

The last meeting took place in September last year on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York, in which both were taking part.

North Korea claimed its rocket launch last week was to put a satellite into orbit as part of celebrations to mark the centennial of the birth of the country’s founder Kim Il-Sung, as his young grandson Kim Jong-Un takes the reins of power.

The United States and its allies, however, said it was a disguised long-range ballistic missile test banned under UN resolutions.

The test ended in failure, with the rocket disintegrating in mid-air soon after blast-off and plunging into the sea in a major embarrassment for the reclusive state.

And the U.N. Security Council responded by tightening sanctions on Pyongyang, warning of new action if the isolated state stages a nuclear test.

The United States and Japan are both party to long-stalled six-way negotiations on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear drive, along with China, Russia, and the two Koreas.

Carney said after the launch that Washington “remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security of our allies in the region.”

The United States also confirmed it would not go forward with an already suspended deal to send food aid to North Korea.

Japan and the United States have differed on Iran, upon which Washington has imposed crippling economic sanctions over its suspect nuclear program. But last month, the Pacific allies came to a compromise.

Noda has said Tokyo would strive to reduce its oil imports from the Islamic republic, while the United States last month said it was exempting Japan and some European Union members from tough new sanctions aimed at Tehran.

The United States has also pressed Japan on child abductions, urging it to sign the 1980 Hague treaty that requires countries to return children to the countries where they usually live.

Japanese courts virtually never award custody to foreign parents, especially men, and authorities have never returned overseas a child snatched to Japan.

U.S. parents have pursued more than 120 cases to seek access to their half-Japanese children.

Under growing foreign pressure, leaders in Tokyo have voiced support for signing the Hague convention, but it would only apply to future cases.

© 2012 AFP

President Obama finally seems to be talking about this issue with the prime minister of Japan.  The first U.S. president to do so.

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/23/president-obama-praises-japan-and-its-effort-to-sign-the-hague-convention/

 

http://www.debito.org/?p=9398

Here is a youtube link with Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell’s comments about the meeting, in which he states that the need to address existing cases was also discussed when President Obama and Prime Minister Noda met:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsAI3C_1zOY

Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey has called upon President Obama to address the international child abduction issue with Japanese Prime Minister Kan during his trip to Japan.

 

http://www.northjersey.com/news/107407973_Obama__urged_to__address__child_issue.html

http://edition.cnn.com/search/?query=savoie%20charges%20dropped&primaryType=mixed&sortBy=date&intl=true

The timing of this, right before President Obama’s arrival in Japan, is so obvious.  Hopefully President Obama doesn’t feel the Japanese child abduction issue has been defused just because of this one gesture.  The fact is, Christopher Savoie, like thousands of other parents worldwide, has children in Japan who are being completely blocked out of his life because of the culture and legal system in Japan.  President Obama, please do something about it!

 

Thank you, Paul Toland, for providing the following–

For those of you who are following the President’s trip, here are the two most important times to be watching:

1. 13 November, 7 PM (Japan Time), 5 AM (Eastern Standard Time) – President Obama’s meeting with Prime Minister Hatoyama, to be followed by a Joint Press Conference.

The latest on the 13 November schedule (all times are Japan times):

6:50PM THE PRESIDENT and Prime Minister Hatoyama of Japan hold bilateral meeting

7:10PM THE PRESIDENT and Prime Minister Hatoyama hold expanded bilateral meeting

8:20PM THE PRESIDENT and Prime Minister Hatoyama hold joint press conference

8:45PM THE PRESIDENT and Prime Minister Hatoyama have dinner

That means the Press Conference will be held at 6:20 AM Eastern Standard
Time in the United States.

2. 14 November, 10 AM (Japan Time), 13 Nov 8 PM (Eastern Standard Time) – President Obama will be making a speech at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, in which he will discuss his view of U.S. engagement in Asia and reaffirm the strength of Washington’s alliance with Japan. While I doubt he will address the child abduction issue at the Speech at Suntory Hall, I am hoping he does mention the issue at the Joint Press Conference, or if he does not mention it, I am hoping the press will ask about it during the Q&A. Unfortunately, the Q&A is usually only about 3 questions from each country’s press (3 Questions from Japanese press, 3 questions from American Press). There’s almost no chance that the Japanese press will raise it, so let’s hope the US press will raise it within the context of their 3 allowed questions.

Japan Times

Stars and Stripes

Thank you, Minoru Matsutani of Japan Times and Charlie Reed of Stars and Stripes, for helping get this news out!

22 U.S. Senators have signed a letter calling upon President Obama to take action on the international child abduction issue during his trip next week to Japan to meet with Prime Minister Hatoyama.

Here are links to the press releases from Senator Boxer’s and Senator Corker’s offices:

Senator Boxer press release

Senator Corker press release

Below is a copy of the actual letter.  We especially want to recognize the exceptional efforts of the office of Senator Barbara Boxer in taking the intiative on this and garnering bipartisan support for this letter.

11.5.09 Obama on Japanese Abduction11.5.09 Letter to President Obama P1

11.5.09 Obama on Japanese Abduction P211.5.09 Letter to President Obama P2

11.5.09 Obama on Japanese Abduction P311.5.09 Letter to President Obama P3

Letter to President Obama

November 5, 2009

President Obama will be making his first trip to Japan next week to meet with Prime Minister Hatoyama.  Below is a letter that Children’s Rights Council of Japan has sent President Obama.  We also have a link here so you can download a Word version of the letter that you can modify so you can send your own letter to President Obama and others.  Due to the limited time prior to his trip, it would be best to fax your letter to the White House at 202-456-2461.

Obama letter-Word Version

We are also trying to get senators to write President Obama about this, and they too can use this letter.  Here is a link to find the phone and contact details for all the senators:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Obama letter