May 30, 2024

President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida Forge Stronger U.S.-Japan Alliance, Emphasizing Defense, Economy, and Regional Security

President Joe Biden greets Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, March 24, 2022, on their way to a G7 meeting. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
President Joe Biden greets Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, March 24, 2022, on their way to a G7 meeting. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan held a highly anticipated bilateral meeting today in Hiroshima, highlighting the significance of the U.S.-Japan Alliance and addressing critical issues at the forefront of regional politics. With defense cooperation, economic partnerships, and regional security challenges as the primary focus, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a strong alliance and a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The White House said in a readout that their meeting began with President Biden underlining the paramount importance of the U.S.-Japan Alliance as the cornerstone of regional peace and prosperity. Biden then emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to utilizing its full range of capabilities in supporting Japan’s defense, echoing a powerful message of solidarity. Both leaders explored opportunities to further enhance defense cooperation, leveraging Japan’s revised strategy documents and increased defense investments.

Economic cooperation took center stage during the discussions, with a particular emphasis on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) negotiations. President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida expressed their commitment to deepening economic ties through this crucial platform. Clean and secure energy initiatives, as well as the establishment of diverse and resilient critical minerals supply chains, were highlighted as vital components of the economic partnership. Moreover, the leaders celebrated the finalization of a memorandum of cooperation on education and technology, fostering collaboration in emerging technologies such as quantum computing and semiconductors. This new chapter of innovation promises to propel both countries forward in the rapidly evolving tech landscape.

Addressing regional security challenges was a key priority for President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida. Standing firmly together, they pledged unwavering support for Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s brutal invasion, sending a strong message to the international community. The leaders also agreed to work in close coordination to address the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear and ballistic missile programs, in addition to combatting China’s coercive behavior that violates international law. President Biden reiterated his commitment to resolving the abductions issue promptly, demonstrating the shared commitment to upholding human rights. Both leaders emphasized their resolute opposition to any attempts to alter the status quo through force and reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

The meeting also served as an opportunity to acknowledge efforts in improving bilateral ties between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK). President Biden commended Prime Minister Kishida for his courageous endeavors, recognizing their potential to contribute to regional stability and prosperity. Additionally, the leaders expressed their support for ASEAN centrality, highlighting the need to increase multilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. Collaborative efforts with the Republic of Korea, the Quad nations (Australia and India), Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands were identified as crucial for promoting peace and stability across the region.

As the meeting drew to a close, both leaders expressed their commitment to further deepening the bilateral relationship, reaffirming their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. The stage is now set for the upcoming G7 Summit, which will be held under Japan’s leadership.

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