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 Monday sought to deny allegations that he is linked to an Osaka-based ultranationalist kindergarten as the public outcry over the operator and its alleged efforts to indoctrinate children with xenophobia and pre-war militarism grows. (Japan Times)
A smoking ban that Japan's health ministry plans to impose on restaurants in the country with some exceptions will cover small "izakaya" eateries and "yakitori" skewered chicken restaurants, informed sources said Saturday. (Jiji)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that his wife Akie has resigned as honorary principal of a soon-to-open elementary school whose nationalist operator bought state-owned land at far below appraised value. (Kyodo)
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, at a parliamentary meeting on Wednesday, revealed a plan to deploy a new military division to the Kuril Islands, including four islands at the center of a dispute with Japan, this year, according to Russia's Interfax news agency and other sources. (Jiji)
Japan's Foreign Ministry has protested to South Korea over a video clip that calls the body of water between the Japanese archipelago and the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" instead of the "Sea of Japan". (NHK)