In 2008, we've got Barack Obama and it's "above my pay grade."
And also on the Futenma relocation issue, by when do you think the issue needs to be resolved? And should it be that Japan carry over the discussion -- decision to next year, or decide on something outside of what is being discussed? How would you respond?
Christ... wouldn't you just love to here him say that?
Let me, first of all, insist that the United States and Japan are equal partners. We have been and we will continue to be. Each country brings specific assets and strengths to the relationship, but we proceed based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and that will continue.
That's reflected in the Japan-U.S. alliance. It will be reflected in the resolution of the base realignment issues related to Futenma. As the Prime Minister indicated, we discussed this. The United States and Japan have set up a high-level working group that will focus on implementation of the agreement that our two governments reached with respect to the restructuring of U.S. forces in Okinawa, and we hope to complete this work expeditiously.
Our goal remains the same, and that's to provide for the defense of Japan with minimal intrusion on the lives of the people who share this space. And I have to say that I am extraordinarily proud and grateful for the men and women in uniform from the United States who help us to honor our obligations to the alliance and our treaties.
With respect to nuclear weapons and the issues of non-proliferation, this is an area where Prime Minister Hatoyama and I have discussed repeatedly in our meetings. We share, I think, a vision of a world without nuclear weapons. We recognize, though, that this is a distant goal, and we have to take specific steps in the interim to meet this goal. It will take time. It will not be reached probably even in our own lifetimes. But in seeking this goal we can stop the spread of nuclear weapons; we can secure loose nuclear weapons; we can strengthen the non-proliferation regime.
As long as nuclear weapons exist, we will retain our deterrent for our people and our allies, but we are already taking steps to bring down our nuclear stockpiles and -- in cooperation with the Russian government -- and we want to continue to work on the non-proliferation issues.
Now, obviously Japan has unique perspective on the issue of nuclear weapons as a consequence of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And that I'm sure helps to motivate the Prime Minister's deep interest in this issue. I certainly would be honored, it would be meaningful for me to visit those two cities in the future. I don't have immediate travel plans, but it's something that would be meaningful to me.
You had one more question, and I'm not sure I remember it. Was it North Korea?
Q Whether or not you believe that the U.S. dropped a nuclear weapon on Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- it was right?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: No, there were three sets of questions, right? You asked about North Korea?
Q I have North Korea as well, yes.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yes. With respect to North Korea, ....(etc.)