Washington: The United States and Japan on Tuesday underlined the key role of India as "a strong and enduring" Asia -Pacific partner and agreed to promote a tri-lateral dialogue with New Delhi.
   
"(We) Welcome India as a strong and enduring Asia-Pacific partner and encourage India's growing engagement with the region and participation in regional architectures," said a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the US- Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting here.
   
They agreed to "promote trilateral dialogue among the United States, Japan, and India".
   
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the two close allies discussed ways to improve regional cooperation and encourage a responsible and constructive role for China.
   
"We talked about our efforts to improve regional cooperation on various forums through  trilateral dialogue with India," Clinton told reporters here at the end of the top meeting.
   
The statement said the US and Japan decided to encourage China's responsible and constructive role in regional stability and prosperity, its cooperation on global issues, and its adherence to international norms of behaviour, while building trust between Washington, Tokyo and Beijing.
   
It underlined the need to improve openness and transparency with respect to China's military modernization and activities while strengthening confidence building measures On the contentious of China-Taiwan relations, US and Japan highligted the importance of dialogue and peaceful solution  of their disputes.
   
While welcoming the progress in improving cross-Strait relations, they called for "the peaceful solution of cross-Strait issues through dialogue".
   
The role of Russia in the constructive engagenent in the Asia -Pacific region was also discussed during the talks.
   
It called for Russia’s constructive engagement and realize "the full normalization of Japan and Russia relations through the resolution of the Northern Territories issue".
   
US and Japan were against the pursuit and acquisition of military capabilities that could destabilize the regional security environment.
   
The statement also called for promoting effective cooperation through open, multilayered regional networks and rule-making mechanisms, including the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM+), Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the East Asia Summit (EAS).
   
"Today, we discussed our countries' ongoing work together and reaffirmed our commitment to maintain these efforts for as long as they are needed," Clinton said.
   
The top US diplomat said the two allies made important progress on several initiatives that will enhance their ability to defend Japan and respond to a variety of threats to the security of the Asia-Pacific region.
   
"On global issues, we discussed our joint efforts to advance peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, ensure Iran's compliance with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and bring security against the pirates to the waters off the Horn of Africa," Clinton said.
     
Describing the US-Japan alliance as "indispensable" to the peace, security and economic dynamism of the Asia-Pacific region, Clinton said their mutual respect and shared values have served the two nations well for the past 50 years.
   
Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto said they discussed bilateral security and defense cooperation in future, as the two close allies "agreed on a deepening and expanding cooperation in a broad range of areas."
   
"In addition to regularizing the extended deterrence consultations, including nuclear, in the area of so-called global commons, we also agreed to have consultations on space and cyberspace as well," Matsumoto said.

(Agencies)