HONOLULU (AP) - U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is lauding the Pentagon's announcement that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will participate in a Hawaii forum of the 10-member Association of the Southeast Asian Nation defense ministers.
Hanabusa's office says Hagel will host all the defense ministers for the inaugural U.S.-ASEAN forum. The three-day event is scheduled to begin April 1.
Hanabusa says in a statement that it's the first time a U.S. defense secretary has hosted all defense ministers in the association in the U.S.
She says the upcoming meeting with world defense leaders will strengthen security partnerships.
The association members are Cambodia, Indonesia, Burma, Brunei, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore.
The Hawaii Democrat, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, says she has been invited to participate in the forum.