Jim Mattis Says U.S. Is ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ With Japan

The American defense secretary, Jim Mattis, left; Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, second right; and the Japanese defense minister, Tomomi Inada, right, in Tokyo on Friday. Credit Pool photo by Eugene Hoshiko

TOKYO — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis assured Japan’s prime minister on Friday that the United States would stand by its mutual defense treaty with the country, despite statements by President Trump during last year’s campaign that suggested he might pull back from American security commitments in Asia.

“I want there to be no misunderstanding during the transition in Washington that we stand firmly, 100 percent, shoulder to shoulder with you and the Japanese people,” Mr. Mattis said at the start of a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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