AP: The Japanese leader was the first foreign leader to visit Obama at the White House, and the president said that was a testament to the importance both countries place in their mutual ties.
"It's a testimony to the strong partnership between the United States and Japan," Obama said, sitting at Aso's side in the Oval Office.
The Japanese leader said only that the United States and Japan enjoyed sufficient economic strength to effect changes in the global economic recession.
The two leaders face starkly different political fortunes: While Obama enjoys worldwide popularity, Aso is struggling to stay in power.
In selecting Aso as the first foreign leader to visit the Obama White House, however, the new administration is interested less in giving him a boost than in sending a message, to Tokyo and to the world, that Japan, a sometimes-neglected ally, remains a vital partner in addressing global economic and security crises