Obama vows to back Japan over disaster

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President Barack Obama on Thursday told Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan that the United States would stand with its key Asian ally for as long as it took to recover from its disaster.

Obama said that all Americans were "heartbroken" over the scale of the catastrophe that bore down on Japan when a March 11 earthquake spawned a monster tsunami, which swept entire neighbourhoods off the map and triggered a nuclear disaster.

"The United States will stand by Japan for as long as it takes for Japan to recover. And I'm confident that it will recover," Obama said, as the two leaders met on the sidelines of the G8 summit in France.

The president also praised Kan for his leadership "at a time of great crisis for his country."

© 2011 AFP

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