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US envoy meets Kishida, vows to deepen alliance

TOKYO (AP) – The new United States (US) ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, pledged to work “wholeheartedly” to deepen Washington’s alliance with Tokyo as he met with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida yesterday.

The two discussed regional concerns and agreed to closely cooperate, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“I pledged to the prime minister that I will wholeheartedly work every day on behalf of the ideals of the alliance,” Emanuel told reporters after the talks.

Emanuel presented Kishida with a pair of Major League Baseball uniforms for the Cubs and White Sox – with “Kishida 100” printed on the back – from his hometown Chicago where he was previously mayor. The gift won big smiles from Japan’s 100th prime minister, who is an avid baseball fan, especially of the Carp from his hometown Hiroshima.

Kishida said the ambassadorship “symbolises the iron-clad bond of the Japan-US alliance” and that he had high expectations for Emanuel to further strengthen ties between the allies.