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The US and Japan: An Alliance, Redefined
Defense ties deepen in face of a growing Chinese threat

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, seen during a joint meeting of Congress in 2015, has deepened Japan's defense ties with the U.S. as he seeks a greater leadership role for his country. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

TOKYO — President Barack Obama traveled to Japan this week for the G-7 summit and a landmark visit to Hiroshima, but the trip also came at a fragile time in the 70-year-old alliance between the two countries. The partnership finds itself under greater scrutiny amid the Asia-Pacific region’s shifting geopolitics.  

In his first term, Obama outlined what he said would be the United States’ strategic pivot to Asia, home to four the top 10 U.S. trade partners and nearly two-thirds of global economic growth. It was to be a rebalancing of U.S. interests in the new century. And now, as China lays claim to disputed territory in the South China Sea and North Korea continues its nuclear weapon threats, the world will see if the U.S. rebalance is up to the challenge.  

Obama on North Korea's Nuclear Aims: 'Big Worry'
Kim's official media agency calls Obama a 'nuclear war lunatic'

File footage of North Korean missiles in April. (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama on Thursday warned that North Korea’s young leader is hell bent on developing a nuclear weapon , even as that country criticized his planned Friday visit to a site where the United States once dropped an atomic bomb.  

Obama called the mostly isolated country’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon a "big worry for all of us," even while saying U.S. officials believe “they’re not at a point right now that they can effectively hit U.S. targets.”  

Obama: World Leaders 'Rattled' by Trump's 'Ignorance of World Affairs'
Outgoing president hits presumptive GOP nominee on world stage

World leaders are leery of a potential Donald Trump presidency because they are worried he possesses an “ignorance” about world affairs, President Barack Obama said Thursday.  

"They're rattled by him and for good reason," Obama said in Japan during a G-7 summit. "Because a lot of the proposals that he's made display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what is required to keep America safe."