Japan, U.S. planning January meeting of foreign, defense chiefs

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida

Arrangements are being made to hold a Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee meeting of the two nations’ foreign and defense chiefs, also known as the 2-plus-2, in Washington D.C. in mid-January, it has been learned.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on Jan. 13., and the 2-plus-2 meeting will likely be held around that time.

The simultaneous visits by Kishida, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada will be an opportunity to promote a deeper bilateral alliance both at home and abroad.

The main topic at the 2-plus-2 meeting is expected to be the respective roles of the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military, in keeping with the revision of Japan’s National Security Strategy and other plans.

Kishida to visit Canada

Kishida is also planning to visit Canada prior to his trip to the United States, several government officials said. He likewise intends to visit Europe.

In light of Japan assuming the chairmanship of the Group of Seven next year, Kishida is seeking cooperation from other member nations through a series of diplomatic visits. He is scheduled to travel to France, Italy and the United Kingdom from Jan. 8, before going to Canada and then the United States.