Hillary Clinton in Hawaii, meets with Japan's Foreign Minister

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KAHALA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in town. She wrapped up her day with a meeting Wednesday evening in Kahala.

It's Clinton's first stop in her two-week seven-nation tour to Asia and the Pacific.

This is the second time this year Clinton has visited Hawaii.

After landing in Honolulu, she went straight to business.

The dominating focus of her trip is cementing relations with Japan.

Hand blown wine glasses for her, and a model train for him, it's an exchange of gifts between Clinton and Japan's new Foreign Minister, Seiji Maehara, before going behind closed doors for a two-hour meeting, one that focused on easing tensions between Japan and China.

"The relationship between Japan and China is a key relationship and we want that relationship to be a positive one," said Clinton.

"Japan and China relations, of course Japan and China are neighbors and neither of the neighbors can move elsewhere," said Maehara.

This first meeting at the Kahala Hotel and Resort marks the beginning of Secretary Clinton's trip to Asia and the Pacific region.

She arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in the afternoon, and was greeted by U.S. Pacific Commander, Admiral Robert Willard. Secretary Clinton will stay in Hawaii until Friday then head to seven countries, including Vietnam, China, Cambodia, and New Zealand.

"There's a lot to talk about in preparations for a state visit by President Hu Jintao," said Clinton.

Making sure that visit by China's president goes smoothly, will be a talking point in her major policy speech on Thursday. It's Clinton's second major speech on Asia, since she took office as the nation's diplomat.

Secretary Clinton will deliver her speech is at 8:30 a.m. at the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

She'll also touch on U.S. preparations for the G-20 summit in South Korea, and the APEC forum in Japan. Both are next month.

This is Secretary Clinton's sixth trip to Asia since she took office.

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