American, Japanese and Australian officials met in Tokyo on Monday to discuss regional security cooperation, including efforts to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns was the lead American negotiator in the talks, which followed a bilateral meeting between U.S. and Japanese officials on Sunday.
The talks were expected to focus on North Korea, the realignment of U.S. troops stationed in Japan, cooperation in the Asia-Pacific on anti-terrorism measures and other security issues.
In the Sunday talks, the U.S. and Japan discussed how the two can work with China, India, Russia and Southeast Asian countries to "tackle the issues that affect the region and the entire world," the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The talks are being held ahead of a planned visit by U.S. President George W. Bush to Tokyo in November for meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, AP reports.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea