Kishida, Emanuel affirm Japan-U.S. cooperation

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida greets new U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, left, at the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and new U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel at a meeting in Tokyo on Friday affirmed their countries’ close cooperation in dealing with a range of issues.

During the talks, which lasted about 35 minutes, Kishida and Emanuel exchanged views on the situations in China and North Korea, the issue of North Korea’s abductions of Japanese nationals decades ago and the realization of a world without nuclear weapons.

Emanuel arrived in Japan last month to fully start working as ambassador to Japan, a post that had been vacant for about 2½ years since his predecessor, William Hagerty, resigned in July 2019.

Kishida said at the start of the meeting that he expects the new envoy to play a major role in advancing Japan-U.S. relations. Having Emanuel, who is highly trusted by U.S. President Joe Biden, as ambassador to Japan shows how strongly the two nations are bonded through their alliance, Kishida added.

While referring to Kishida’s key policy of promoting investment in people, Emanuel said that the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has been working under a “build back better” policy. He stressed that the window of opportunity should be open to everyone.

“I pledged to the prime minister that I will wholeheartedly work every day on behalf of the ideals of the [Japan-U.S.] alliance,” Emanuel told reporters after the meeting, held at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Earlier on Friday, Emanuel met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, who sought the envoy’s cooperation to make a success of a Japan visit by Biden, expected in the first half of this year.

The top government spokesman also asked Emanuel for cooperation to resolve the abduction issue.

Emanuel stressed the need for spreading shared values throughout the region.

A senior official of the Foreign Ministry pinned high hopes on the new envoy, saying that he “is someone who can directly talk to Biden and people close to the U.S. leader.”