Fwd: Travel Pool Report #11 - Obama/Abe presser

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From: J?r?me CARTILLIER >
Date: May 25, 2016 at 11:47:35 PM GMT+9
To: "Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: Travel Pool Report #11 - Obama/Abe presser

At 10:45 pm, President Obama and PM Abe walked into a large room where the pool and Japanese reporters were waiting.
Standing next to each other at the podium (the two flags and cherry blossom drawings in the background), both leaders made opening statements and answered questions.
Main points below (PM Abe through an interpreter)

PM Abe started with a strong statement on the US military base employee linked to the suspicious death of a woman on Okinawa.
"In the onset of our small group discussion, I have firmly lodged a protest against President Obama as the Japanese Prime minister with regard to the most recent case in Okinawa"
"I feel profound resentment for this self centered and despicable crime"
"This case shocked the entire Japan"

On Hiroshima :
"I welcome the decision by president Obama to visit Hiroshima, a place that suffered an atomic and he is going to visit Hiroshima as the first ever US president"
"It will create a strong momentum for the world to get rid of nuclear weapons"
"The upcoming visit will no doubt create further powerful momentum toward creating a world without nuclear weapons"
Asked about Pearl Harbor :"At this moment, I don't have any specifc plan to visit Hawaii"

President Obama spoke at length about " the tragedy that took place in Okinawa"
"I extended my sincere condolences and deepest regrets"
"The US will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation"
"This has shaken up people in Okinawa as well as people throughout Japan"
"We consider it inexcusable and we are committed to do everything we can to prevent any crime of this sort"
"The Japanese people should know how deeply moved we are about what has happened"

Maritime issues and China
"On maritime issues we are united (with Japan) in withholding freedom of navigation and the peaceful resolution of disputes"
"Our growing partnership with Vietnam is happening entirely independent from China and is based on mutual interest to expand trade and cooperation across a whole range of areas and is 30 years in the making"
"The fact that China would perceive that as some sort of provocations to them says more about Chinese attitude than about our attitude"
"We would very much like to see a peaceful resolutions of those disputes"
"It's entirely within China's power to resolve those disputes"
"Our goal is simply to maintain freedom of navigation and international rules and norms because we think that benefits everybody, including China"

War, Vietnam and Hiroshima
"Our visit to Hiroshima will honor all those who were lost in WWI and reaffirm our shared vision toward a world without nuclear weapons"
"What might be a lesson to draw from the trip that I just took to Vietnam is that former adversaries are now working in parternship to provide economic opportunities and to expand trade and commerce"
Vietnam and Hiroshima are both a "a reminder that war involves sufferings and we should always do what we can to prevent it"
"But as I said in Olso, I am the president of a nation that at time is threatened by real risks (...) and it is important for us to act on occasion in order to make sure that the American people are protected"

J?r?me Cartillier
AFP White House Correspondent
Cell : xxx-xxx-xxxx

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