Obama wants future science cooperation for Japanese, U.S. students

U.S. President Barack Obama expressed hope Thursday that Japanese students will work closely with their U.S. peers to continue the longtime cooperation between their countries over scientific and technological breakthroughs.

"Young people like you have at your fingertips more technology and more power than even the greatest innovators in previous generations," Obama said in a speech before a group of Japanese students at a Tokyo science museum.

"So there's no limit to what you can achieve, and the United States of America wants to be your partner," he said after touring the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, known as Miraikan in Tokyo's waterfront area.

Praising the "incredible cooperation" between Washington and Tokyo in the field over the years, Obama urged the students to visit his country and meet their "counterparts in the United States who share your excitement about technology and science."

Obama also noted how Japan and the United States have "led the way in the innovations" which changed and improved lives, citing early calculators and smartphones.

During his tour at the museum in Aomi, Koto Ward, Obama was greeted with prerecorded welcome messages by the International Space Station crew including Koichi Wakata, the station's commander.

Wakata told the president how the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite, jointly developed by the Japanese and U.S. space agencies, reflects "bilateral efforts to advance science together."

Obama also had a moment to talk to and play soccer with Honda Motor Co.'s ASIMO humanoid robot, dressed in an astronaut suit, calling the robot's kick "pretty impressive," according to a pool report.

Obama later visited Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, which was built in honor of Emperor Meiji following his death in 1912.