Biden meets with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga

Biden meets with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga”

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has become the first foreign leader to hold face-to-face talks with U.S. President Joe Biden since the latter assumed office, meeting at the White House for discussions that are expected to focus heavily on countering China.

On another of his key priorities, Biden said he and Suga agreed on the need for "ambitious" climate commitments and indicated that both nations would soon announce goals by 2030.

The White House sent a signal to the meeting of the importance of the USA relationship with Japan, which will also attend Biden's virtual climate change summit next week.

Japan recently joined the USA and other countries in calling out Beijing's human rights abuses and incursions into disputed areas of the East and South China Seas, seen as a departure from a longstanding trade and economics-centered approach.

Biden hosted Suga for talks that offered the Democratic president, inaugurated in January, a chance to work further on his pledge to revitalize US alliances that frayed under his Republican predecessor Donald Trump.

Sporting events also made the agenda between the two leaders.

Mr Suga and Mr Biden are also expected to discuss regional security including North Korea, China and China-Taiwan issues.

In addition to Suga's meetings with Biden and other officials, he also met one-on-one with Vice President Harris earlier in the day.

According to the Japanese prime minister, Suga and Biden reaffirmed "the importance of peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait."

Masashi Adachi, a special advisor to Suga, told reporters that the agreement was more about joint development than fresh funding, pointing to several projects underway in Japan on 5G development.

Biden Meets Japan's Leader to Boost China-facing Alliances

Although they didn't have a formal lunch or dinner as part of their meeting because of COVID-19 considerations, Biden and Suga had a private get-to-know-you session in the Oval Office before their business meeting, without most aides in the room.

"Japan's basic policy on pending issues caused by China is to firmly assert what should be asserted and strongly request China to take specific action", he said.

The comment comes amid Beijing's increased military pressure on the self-ruled island that is claimed as a province by the government of mainland China.

The two governments have been working to strengthen technology supply chains independent of China during a shortage of semiconductors that's worrying businesses around the world.

"I think we were able to establish a good relationship of trust", he added.

"Managing strategic competition with China is a very delicate balancing act between deterring Chinese aggressive behavior, but also recognizing that Japan and other countries in Asia have close economic ties with China", said Szechenyi, the Japan expert.

Elsewhere, Tokyo has watched with concern as China has built military installations on disputed territory it claims in the South China Sea.

President Barack Obama was seen as cajoling China, in hopes of encouraging reforms.

Both countries are expected in coming days to make deeper commitments to cutting climate-wrecking fossil fuel emissions, in line with Biden's climate summit with 40 world leaders next week. After initially praising Xi, Trump later took on China head-on and solo, with tariffs and insults, while building a golf-buddy relationship with Suga's predecessor, Abe.

But "lately, all the things we anxious about that China would do if they were provoked, they're already doing anyway", Madan said.

More news: United Kingdom opens probe into former PM Cameron’s lobbying

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