Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin, who are visiting Japan, at the Prime Minister’s official residence on the evening of March 16. (Photo credit: Japanese Prime Minister’s official residence website)
On the evening of March 16, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met with U.S. Secretary of State John Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Defense John Austin at the Prime Minister’s residence, and expressed his hope that the Japan-U.S. alliance would be strengthened, including through a summit with President Biden. The summit is scheduled to be held in early April.
According to NHK, Prime Minister Kan said he sincerely welcomed the two to Japan on their first trip to a foreign country. He also welcomed President Biden’s advancement of policies that emphasize cooperation with allies and partner countries.
Kan said, “It has been reported that at the Japan-U.S. ‘2+2’ meeting, you held substantive discussions on further strengthening the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. alliance.”
He said, “I will visit the United States in the near future to meet with President Biden, and I hope that the trip will be a meaningful meeting to confirm the bond of the Japan-U.S. alliance.”
He stressed that he would strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance through his talks with President Biden.
For his part, Secretary of State Blinken said, “I came to Japan on my first foreign trip because the U.S.-Japan alliance has been the cornerstone of peace, security and prosperity for our two countries, the region and the world for more than 60 years. Not only to fight the New Coronavirus (CCP virus) outbreak, but also to have discussions on climate change and a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’.”
Defense Secretary Austin also said, “I believe that by working together and thinking about how to strengthen the alliance, the U.S. and Japan will be able to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met with U.S. Secretary of State Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin, who are visiting Japan, at the Prime Minister’s residence on June 16. (Photo credit: Japanese Prime Minister’s official residence website)
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will visit the United States in early April for a face-to-face summit meeting with President Biden, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsuharu Kato announced on 12 April.
At a liaison meeting between The Japanese government and the ruling party on the same day, Kan said that in addition to further strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, he would confirm coordination and cooperation between Japan and the U.S. on various issues, such as the New Crown Epidemic, global warming, various issues concerning the Chinese Communist Party, and the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea.
In addition, it is believed that the two heads of state may also confirm the application of Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty to the Diaoyu Islands (known in Japan as the Senkaku Islands).
If the visit goes ahead, Kan will be the first foreign head of state to hold an interview with Biden since he took office.