Sullivan Meets With Japanese Prime Minister Abe on Trip to Asia

ANCHORAGE, AK – Senate Armed Services Committee member Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), today returned from a trip across the Asia-Pacific, with stops in Hawaii, Guam, Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan, where he met with senior military officials and government leaders to assess the United States’ strategic rebalance in the region – a long-term, global military strategy announced in 2012 to optimize the way in which U.S. forces are deployed throughout the Asia-Pacific.

Sen. Sullivan concluded his trip with a one-on-one meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where they discussed strengthening the alliance between the U.S. and Japan, as well as opportunities for increasing exports of Alaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan.

“I enjoyed a very productive meeting with Prime Minister Abe,” said Sen. Sullivan.  “We discussed the critical importance of the U.S.-Japan strategic alliance, as well as his upcoming and historic address to a joint session of Congress later this month.  We concluded the meeting by discussing the decades-long economic and energy relationship between Japan and Alaska, and the significant opportunities that exist for increasing exports of LNG from Alaska to Japan.”

In addition to meeting with Prime Minister Abe, Sen. Sullivan met with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga, Minister of Defense Nakatani, and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).  Themes from these meetings included the U.S. strategic rebalance of military forces in Asia and the opportunities for deepening the U.S.-Japan energy security relationship, particularly through the export of Alaska LNG.

Sen. Sullivan’s visit to Okinawa – which coincided with the 70th Anniversary of the battle of Okinawa in World War II – as well as his stops in Guam and Hawaii, focused on the U.S. strategic rebalance of military forces in Asia.  Sen. Sullivan met with senior U.S. military officials there, including PACOM Admiral Locklear, III Marine Expeditionary Force Lt. General Wissler, and he discussed with them the importance of Alaska’s military personnel and force structure in the overall strategic posture of military forces in the Asia-Pacific.  During his trip, Sen. Sullivan also met with civilian leaders, including Governor Calvo of Guam and several mayors on Okinawa.

This trip to the Asia-Pacific was part of Sen. Sullivan’s oversight responsibilities as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.