Biden may visit Japan in latter half of May

Courtesy of the Cabinet Secretariat
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks with U.S. President Joe Biden in Glasgow in November.

The Japanese and U.S. governments have begun making arrangements for Joe Biden’s first visit to Japan as U.S. president, possibly in the latter half of May, according to sources.

Biden is expected to visit Japan for a summit meeting of the Quad, the four-country framework of Japan, the United States, Australia and India. Also eyeing a visit to South Korea, Biden aims to demonstrate the cooperation between Japan, the United States and South Korea on policies regarding China and North Korea.

According to sources close to the Japanese and U.S. governments, Tokyo has asked Washington to consider a Biden visit between March and June, taking into account such domestic factors as the House of Councillors election in summer and the Diet schedule.

The U.S. side is reportedly seeking to make a tour of Japan and South Korea after South Korea’s new president takes office, following the end of incumbent President Moon Jae-in’s term of office on May 9.

The Japanese government is considering welcoming Biden as the first state guest under the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. President Barack Obama came as a state guest in April 2014, and President Donald Trump in May 2019.

Kishida is likely to travel to the United States after Biden’s visit to Japan.

The expected schedule may change due to Washington’s arrangements with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose country is scheduled to have a general election by June, and Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi.