Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is in Hawaii, where she is meeting top brass from the U.S. Pacific Command and Japan’s foreign minister to discuss regional security issues dominated by an increasingly assertive China.
Clinton arrived in Honolulu on Wednesday at the start of a seven-nation trip to Asia that is aimed at cementing ties with some of China’s nervous neighbors. It’s part of the Obama administration’s efforts to counter Beijing’s growing clout in a region where America has traditionally been the dominant power.
Before meeting with Clinton, Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara paid his respects to U.S. war dead at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Maehara became foreign minister in September after Prime Minister Naoto Kan reshuffled his cabinet. He’s also Kan’s point man on the thorny issue of relocating a U.S. Marine base in Okinawa.
Maehara laid a wreathe with orchids and red anthuriums at the cemetery. He also bowed and signed a guest book .
Clinton will also meet with U.S. Pacific Command chief Adm. Robert Willard, and deliver a speech on America’s leadership role in the Asia-Pacific region before leaving for Vietnam on Thursday.