Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout:
“Throughout this week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has spoken via phone with leaders who had earlier sent messages congratulating him on taking office as secretary of defense.
“In the past two days, Secretary Hagel called Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera of Japan and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Secretary Hagel made clear that the United States will continue to maintain strong alliance and enduring partnership commitments in Asia and Europe.
“Secretary Hagel looks forward to closely working with these leaders.”