Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expressed Thursday his intention to collaborate with Biden not only on strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, but also on measures against the novel coronavirus and climate change.
“I would like to work closely with the new president on international issues,” Suga said to reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Compared to former U.S. President Donald Trump, whose words and actions were difficult to predict, a senior Foreign Ministry official said, “Biden will return to an orthodox diplomacy and security policy that places importance on the views of government entities such as the State Department and Defense Department.”
For the time being, Biden is expected to give priority to domestic affairs, including measures to combat the novel coronavirus. A visit by Suga to the U.S. seems difficult anytime soon.
Suga is planning to soon have a discussion with Biden over the phone to confirm that both countries will strengthen the alliance and continue to promote the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” vision common to Tokyo and Washington.
Shigeru Kitamura, secretary general of the National Security Secretariat, held his first teleconference with Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, on Thursday evening and confirmed the policy of close cooperation between the two countries to deal with the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region among other issues.
Sullivan confirmed his understanding that the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture are covered by Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which stipulates the obligation to defend Japan.
Kitamura stressed the need to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and to cooperate in areas such as economic security.
Published : January 23, 2021
By : The Japan News/ANN