President Donald Trump says the alliance between the United States and Japan is a cornerstone of regional peace and stability, edging away from campaign pledges to force Tokyo to pay more for the US security umbrella.
Mr Trump and the Japanese Prime Minister began two days of talks with a hug as Shinzo Abe entered the White House and more handshakes and smiles in the Oval Office.
They were to depart later for Palm Beach, Florida, for a weekend stay at Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago retreat with their wives.
At a joint news conference with Mr Abe, Mr Trump avoided repeating harsh campaign rhetoric that accused Japan of taking advantage of US security aid and stealing American jobs.
"We are committed to the security of Japan and all areas under its administrative control and to further strengthening our very crucial alliance," Mr Trump said.
"The bond between our two nations and the friendship between our two peoples runs very, very deep.
A joint US-Japanese statement said the US commitment to defend Japan through nuclear and conventional military capabilities was unwavering.
The statement amounted to a victory for Mr Abe, who came to Washington wanting to develop a sense of trust and friendship with the new US President and send a message that the decades-old alliance was unshakeable in the face of a rising China.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday reiterated his determination to resolve the issue of North Korea's past abductions of Japanese nationals, with concerns lingering over the safety of the abductees amid tension on the Korean Peninsula. (Japan Today)
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike was named one of the world's 100 Most Influential People of 2017 by Time Magazine on Thursday along with U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Japan Times)