On the eve of the President's trip to Asia, which includes a stop in Japan, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs released the following statement on the Japanese government's contributions to the efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"We welcome the announcement by the Government of Japan to provide approximately $5 billion over the next five years to Afghanistan and to implement swiftly its April 2009 pledge of $1 billion for economic assistance to Pakistan. The U.S. appreciates all that Japan has done to assist in the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan and welcomes Japan's renewed commitment to development assistance for this international effort. Japan is among the largest bilateral donors in foreign assistance to Pakistan and Afghanistan, reflecting Japan's crucial leadership in the region and around the globe. As President Obama prepares to travel to Japan this week, he looks forward to renewing our strong alliance with Japan, and discussing our continued partnership on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and critical bilateral issues."
President Obama is meeting today with his national security team to discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan. The president travels to Japan tomorrow where he will discuss North Korea's nuclear program, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the US-Japanese alliance. No decisions on US troop increases in Afghanistan is expected prior to Mr Obama's departure for Asia.