Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to develop the Asian nation’s defense capabilities on Jan. 13, a month after Tokyo made a major shift in its defense policy with an eye on China’s military provocations against Taiwan.
Kishida, on his first trip to the U.S. capital since he took office in October 2021, agreed with Biden that the two countries will deepen security ties and cooperate to secure semiconductor supply chains to counter China’s economic clout in the region.
Biden hailed Japan’s decision to bolster its defense capabilities, telling Kishida at the outset of their talks that it was “historic” and the United States is “fully, thoroughly, completely” committed to the bilateral security alliance.
“Rather than figuring out how we can work more closely together, the more difficult job would be trying to figure out how and where we disagree,” Biden added.
China has lambasted Japan and the United States for trying to thwart its military and economic ambitions.
The meeting between Biden and Kishida, who represents a constituency in Hiroshima, came about four months ahead of the Group of Seven summit to be held in the western Japan city, which was devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb in August 1945. (Kyodo)