Japan, U.S. agree to strengthen alliance

Courtesy of the Cabinet Public Affairs Office
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, left, and U.S. President Joe Biden greet each other before their talks at a hotel in Phnom Penh on Sunday.

BALI, Indonesia — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed Sunday to further strengthen Japan and the United States’ joint deterrence and coping capabilities in the security realm.

The two leaders met Sunday afternoon at a hotel in Phnom Penh, which is hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit and agreed that the security environment had become increasingly severe.

They also confirmed that Tokyo and Washington would continue to work closely on addressing issues relating to China, which is becoming increasing hegemonic in the East and South China Seas, and the Pacific, and agreed to advance efforts to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law.

During the meeting, Kishida said Japan would draw up a new National Security Strategy by the end of the year. He also conveyed Japan’s determination to drastically strengthen its defense capabilities and secure a substantial increase in defense spending.

“I received strong support from President Biden,” Kishida told reporters after the meeting.

On Monday evening, Biden will hold his first face-to-face meeting as president with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Indonesia. Kishida and Biden used Sunday’s talks to strongly tout their alliance ahead of the U.S.-China summit.

The two leaders also confirmed that they would continue to work in solidarity with fellow countries — including the Group of Seven industrialized nations — over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with regard to imposing strong sanctions against the Kremlin and supporting the administration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Kishida and Biden also confirmed that Japan, the United States and South Korea would continue to work closely together on North Korea, which continues to pursue nuclear and missile development.