12:55 GMT29 January 2020
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    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed commitment to boosting the Tokyo-Washington alliance.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton held a meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly's session and expressed their commitment to strengthening the Japan-US strategic alliance.

    "I would like to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance so it can contribute to the region and the world as an ‘alliance of hope,'" Abe said as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

    Clinton, on her part, said that the Japan-US partnership was important for peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the whole world.

    According to the media outlet, the two sides discussed a number of regional issues, such as North Korea's nuclear and missile threat, China's growing maritime activity and fight against international terrorism.

    The two sides also confirmed their diverging positions over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement, which was concluded last October with the aim to lower tariffs and other trade barriers on thousands of items between 12 Pacific-rim nations, the media said.

    In 2012, Clinton praised the pending free trade deal as the "gold standard" for trade agreements. She expressed support for the deal again in 2013 but spoke against the deal in her presidential campaign after being pressured by labor unions and her former Democratic competitor Bernie Sanders.

    Critics of the TPP agreement argue the trade deal was concluded under unusual secrecy and will significantly undermine standards and regulations on environmental protection, health and safety, as well as workers’ rights.

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    Tags:
    Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Shinzo Abe, Hillary Clinton, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China, Japan, United States
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