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Hagel, in Tokyo, moves to reassure Japan on security ties

By Phil Stewart TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel moved on Saturday to reassure Japan of America's commitment to its security, as Russia's annexation of Crimea raises eyebrows in a region facing its own territorial disputes with an increasingly assertive China. The United States and its allies have made clear they have no military plans to defend Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, instead moving to isolate Russia diplomatically and impose limited sanctions.

Abe, Hagel meet to reaffirm solid security alliance

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Saturday with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel where they are likely to reaffirm close cooperation between Japan and the United States to address security challenges in East Asia such as North Korea's ballistic missiles. During the meeting in Tokyo, Abe and Hagel are also expected to exchange views on the Japanese government's plan to alter the interpretation of the pacifist Constitution so that Tokyo will be allowed to exercise collective self-defense.

US urges ASEAN armies to prepare for more natural disasters

US officials on Wednesday offered to help ASEAN countries prepare for the devastating effects of climate change, urging stronger cooperation among armies and emergency agencies. Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel and other top officials discussed the danger posed by rising global temperatures with ASEAN defense ministers in Honolulu, home to a major US weather research center that tracks sea levels and tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean.

Analysis: Shootings frustrate U.S. military efforts to secure bases

By Phil Stewart (Reuters) - The latest shooting at Fort Hood is throwing a spotlight on the U.S. military's so-far frustrated efforts to secure its bases from potential shooters, who increasingly appear to see the facilities as attractive targets. A soldier with mental health problems killed three people and injured 16 at Fort Hood in Texas, going from one building to another to open fire with a semi-automatic handgun before taking his own life, the military said.

Shootings frustrate U.S. military efforts to secure bases

By Phil Stewart (Reuters) - The latest shooting at Fort Hood is throwing a spotlight on the U.S. military's so-far frustrated efforts to secure its bases from potential shooters, who increasingly appear to see the facilities as attractive targets. A soldier with mental health problems killed three people and injured 16 at Fort Hood in Texas, going from one building to another to open fire with a semi-automatic handgun before taking his own life, the military said.

ASEAN, US defense ministers look for lessons from MH370 search

The specter of missing Flight MH370 will loom over a meeting of US and ASEAN defense ministers Wednesday, as they discuss how to improve their response to natural disasters and emergencies. The agenda for the ministers gathering in Hawaii -- focused on bolstering cooperation for humanitarian assistance efforts -- has taken on new significance in the wake of the aviation tragedy, officials said.

Hagel revamps effort to find U.S. troops missing from foreign wars

By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday ordered the Pentagon to reorganize its much-criticized effort to account for U.S. troops missing from foreign wars, creating a single agency to improve accountability and speed recovery and identification of remains. Hagel's announcement came as the U.S. Congress is putting pressure on the Defense Department to boost its accounting for some 83,000 missing U.S. troops - about 73,000 from World War Two and 10,000 from other conflicts.

Top NATO commander cuts short U.S. visit, eyes on Russian troops

By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has sent America's top general in Europe back early from a trip to Washington in what a spokesman on Sunday called a prudent step given Russia's "lack of transparency" about troop movements across the border with Ukraine.

Hagel to visit Japan in April for talks on defense guidelines

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will visit Japan in early April for talks on such issues as work to review bilateral defense cooperation guidelines, a Defense Department spokesman said Thursday. After arriving in Japan on April 5, Hagel will meet with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera on April 6 before leaving Japan for China the following day, officials familiar with Japan-U.S. relations said.

Hagel due in China, Japan, skipping Korea

By Lee Chi-dong WASHINGTON, March 27 (Yonhap) -- Chuck Hagel will make his first trip to China as Pentagon chief early next month as part of a regional tour without a stop in South Korea, his department announced Thursday. The secretary's visit to Asia, the fourth in less than a year, will follow a group meeting with his Southeast Asian counterparts in Hawaii April 1-3. He will first travel to Tokyo and then head to Beijing.
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