By Julian Pecquet - 04/30/12 10:12 PM EDT
"We stand with Japan in the Asia-Pacific and beyond," Obama said, "because even as it has focused on the hard work at home [after last year's tsunami], Japan has never stopped leading in the world.
"It's a great tribute to the Japanese people and to leaders like Prime Minister Noda."
Noda for his part said he'd "always held the conviction that our bilateral alliance is the linchpin of Japan's diplomacy."
Obama listed five elements that he said are key to the bilateral vision:
• The U.S.-Japan alliance will remain the "cornerstone of regional peace and security" even as U.S. troops are realigned to be "more broadly distributed, more flexible and more sustainable"
• Promotion of trade and investment, including closer cooperation on nuclear energy.
"There's more we can do, especially as we work to double U.S. exports," Obama said. "We instructed our teams to continue our consultation regarding Japan's interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would benefit both our economies and the region."
• A democratic future for the Asia-Pacific region, including encouraging reforms in North Korea and Burma;
• A global partnership committed to peace and human rights, including Japan's participation in the Afghanistan mission and in sanctions against Iran; and
• Closer ties between Americans and Japanese people, notably through scientific and cultural exchanges.