Kishida meets Biden to confirm solid Japan-U.S. alliance

Courtesy of Cabinet Public Relations Office / Jiji Press
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida shakes hands with U.S. President Joe Biden in Phnom Penh on Sunday.

PHNOM PENH / BALI, Indonesia — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday, for talks during which the two leaders were expected to confirm their cooperation in the Japan-U.S. alliance.

During the meeting held at a Phnom Penh hotel, where summit talks related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were underway, Kishida and Biden were expected to agree on the importance of strengthening Japan-U.S. defense capabilities with China’s increasingly hegemonic moves in East Asia in mind.

The two leaders were expected to again share their belief that attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force must not be tolerated, in light of Beijing’s increasing maritime expansion in the East and South China Seas.

They were also expected to exchange views on the situation in Taiwan and confirm the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Biden is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia on Monday. This will be Biden’s first face-to-face meeting with Xi since he became president of the United States.

Kishida and Biden are also expected to exchange views on the current situation in China.

Kishida plans to reiterate to Biden his administration’s efforts to strengthen Japan’s defense capabilities. The prime minister conveyed his determination to secure a “substantial increase” in defense spending at the Japan-U.S. summit held in Tokyo in May.

The two leaders were also expected to condemn the unusually frequent ballistic missile launches by North Korea and reaffirm the cooperation between Japan and the United States as well as among Japan, the United States and South Korea. Some observers believe Pyongyang may conduct a seventh nuclear test.

Kishida and Biden are also expected to agree to take a resolute attitude against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine together with the international community and to continue to support the Ukrainian government and people.