U.S. VP praises troops, lauds alliance with Japan   2011-08-24 22:50:00 FeedbackPrintRSS

TOKYO, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- United States Vice President Joe Biden concluded his nine-day Asian trip Wednesday with an audience at the U.S. Yokota Air Base outside Tokyo, where he praised the service members for their assistance in rescue and relief efforts following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeast regions of Japan.

"The United States is a Pacific power," Biden said during the telecast speech Wednesday. He called the U.S. military a " stabilizing force" in the region that has contributed to its security and economic growth.

"The role you all play will become increasingly important," Biden told the U.S. troops. "You are the glue that holds this all together."

Biden said that the U.S.-Japan alliance would continue to deepen and that Japan was an "anchor" to security and prosperity in the Pacific basin, remarking that, "Our alliance with Japan will even become more important than in the past. It continues to be absolutely critical."

Biden's trip also saw him visit Mongolia and China. On his visit to the quake and tsunami-ravaged Tohoku region on Tuesday, Biden said the people there expressed their deep gratitude to the U.S. service people for their help and support in a time of unthinkable crisis.

The aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and 18 other U.S. warships were deployed by Washington soon after the quake struck in an effort known as Operation Tomodachi.

The operation was the single largest humanitarian relief effort in American history and was launched, according to Biden, "Without having to convince the American people of anything. It was spontaneous. It's because of the affection for the people of Japan, " he said.

Some 240 tons of humanitarian and disaster relief supplies were provided to survivors of the earthquake and disaster in the first weeks after the disasters.

In addition, more than 15,745 tons of fresh water were supplied to support efforts to cool the quake-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, central to the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

"As I stand here at this airport, I am proud -- as I said to your generals -- I'm proud that our military was given the privilege of being able to join your forces," Biden said at a speech at Sendai airport Tuesday.

Biden told his troops that through their humanitarian efforts they showed the world the best side of America.

Editor: yan
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