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US envoy says Washington wants allies to 'step up' in security ties

U.S. ambassador to Japan William Hagerty speaks during an interview with Kyodo News in Tokyo, on June 26, 2019. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Nations that benefit from the United States' defense need to "step up" as it takes risks and costs to defend regions around the world, the U.S. ambassador to Japan said Wednesday.

"The president's desire is as we step up, to have our allies to step up with us" whether it is in Asia or the Strait of Hormuz, William Hagerty told Kyodo News in an interview.

Bloomberg news agency reported earlier this week that U.S. President Donald Trump mused to confidants about withdrawing from the Japan-U.S. security treaty, perceiving it as unfair to the United States.

Hagerty pushed back on the report saying he never heard the president make such comments, rather he has emphasized the strength of the alliance between both countries.

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