POSTED: 5:54 a.m. HST, May 31, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 12:11 a.m. HST, Jun 1, 2011
Amid mounting Western Pacific political tensions and an impending visit to Singapore, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates reaffirmed the nation's commitment to having a military presence in East Asia.
"The critical messages is that even as we look at...budget reductions, there's no slacking in the U.S. commitment to our presence in Asia." he said Tuesday.
"We are a Pacific nation. We will remain a Pacific nation."
Gates made the statement during a brief news media conference at the Battleship Missouri Museum in Pearl Harbor, as he observed Memorial Day and visited the vessel upon which Japan surrendered formally on Sept. 2, 1945.