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Biden welcomes Japanese PM Kishida as they aim for deeper bilateral ties | World News


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President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden greet Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and his wife Yuko Kishida upon their arrival at the White House, Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in Washington.(Photo: PTI)

US President Joe Biden has welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House as the two leaders seek to further boost bilateral ties amid shared concerns about China’s increasing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

Biden and the First Lady Jill Biden have welcomed Kishida and his wife Yuko Kishida at the White House on Tuesday and treated them to a seafood dinner at a city restaurant.

Biden has invited the Japanese Prime Minister for a State Dinner on Wednesday as part of the efforts to strengthen ties with countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

President Biden last year hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a State visit.

“This (Kishida’s) official state visit will build on the immense progress between our two nations that we’ve made towards creating a safer and more secure Indo-Pacific, as well as mutual prosperity for our peoples,” US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.

The Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.

The US, India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region, vital to global trade.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

“Over the course of the visit, the president and the prime minister will highlight the high ambition of our alliance, in the defence and technology space but also across the board, deepening our partnerships on space, technology, economic investment, fighting climate change, coordinating global diplomacy, and strengthening our people to people ties,” said Sullivan.

According to him, the two leaders will announce measures to enhance the defence and cooperation of forces.

“There will be major deliverables on space as we lead the way on space exploration and returning to the moon,” Sullivan told reporters at a news conference.

“There will be announcements of significant research partnerships between our leading institutions on critical and emerging technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), quantum, semiconductors, and clean energy. All of this will strengthen our economic ties and economic security as we announce significant commercial deals as part of the state visit,” he said.

Japan is one of the largest providers of economic assistance and budget support to Ukraine, one of the largest investors in development and infrastructure in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

The visit will highlight Japan’s continued role in global diplomacy and development and the coordination that the US and Japan have together with significant deliverables on global assistance and investment both inside and outside the Indo-Pacific, Sullivan said.

“We will also announce new initiatives to further foster our cultural connections and promote ties between current changemakers and future generations of leaders,” he said.

Following his visit, Kishida will initiate the evening that will carry through tomorrow, he said.

The pair will be joined later this week by Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr in a summit set to bolster trilateral maritime cooperation in the South China Sea.

“President Biden will welcome President Marcos of the Philippines to the White House on Thursday for his second bilateral meeting at the White House in as many years, Sullivan said.

Biden is also slated to host the first-ever trilateral leaders summit between the United States, Japan, and the Philippines — three closely aligned maritime democracies with increasingly convergent strategic objectives and interests.

According to the NSA, the three leaders will announce initiatives to enhance energy security, economic and maritime cooperation, partnerships on technology and cybersecurity, and joint investments in critical infrastructure.

“With this first-ever leaders trilateral, we’re continuing to deepen our cooperation with our closest partners to ensure what we’ve talked about many times from this podium and elsewhere, a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Sullivan said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the President and First Lady welcomed Kishida Fumio and Kishida Yuko at the White House for a guest book signing and official gift exchange.

They then went to BlackSalt, a seafood restaurant in the Palisades neighbourhood of Northwest DC.

The two leaders have met nearly a dozen times over the past three years in Tokyo and Washington and in cities around the world.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Apr 10 2024 | 9:34 AM IST


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