President Biden met virtually today with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan to highlight the strength of the U.S.-Japan relationship and to advance our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, which is critical to the lives of the American and Japanese peoples. President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida agreed that the U.S.-Japan Alliance has never been stronger or more necessary.
The President commended Prime Minister Kishida’s strong commitment to the U.S.-Japan Alliance, and his determination to fundamentally strengthen Japan’s defense capabilities to reinforce deterrence against common threats. He welcomed the Prime Minister’s intent to revise Japan’s National Security Strategy and other key guiding documents. In particular, President Biden welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to increase spending on defense, and underscored the importance of sustaining these vital investments over time. The President applauded the Prime Minister’s leadership on issues related to nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, and they welcomed the U.S.-Japan Joint Statement on the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The two leaders also affirmed the importance of strengthening cybersecurity, as a critical enabler of alliance cooperation. President Biden applauded Japan and Australia’s signing of the Reciprocal Access Agreement that will enable closer trilateral defense cooperation.
As Indo-Pacific powers, the United States and Japan are united in shared purpose to sustain and enhance our commitment to the region. The two leaders resolved to push back against the People’s Republic of China (PRC)’s attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and South China Sea; underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues; they shared concern about PRC practices in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. The President resolutely affirmed that Article V of the Mutual Security Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands, and affirmed the United States’ unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan, using its full range of capabilities. The two leaders condemned the recent ballistic missile launches by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which are in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. Toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, both leaders committed to maintain close coordination on DPRK issues moving forward, in lockstep with the Republic of Korea (ROK). The President also expressed support for the immediate resolution of the abductions issue.
The leaders committed to work closely together to deter Russian aggression against Ukraine, and Prime Minister Kishida pledged to continue close coordination with the United States, other Allies and partners, and the international community on taking strong action in response to any attack. President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida affirmed the importance of close cooperation among the United States, Japan, and the ROK in addressing common challenges, and underscored the imperative of a strong trilateral relationship between Japan, the United States, and the ROK, on security and more broadly.
The two leaders remain committed to working closely with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida reaffirmed their support for ASEAN centrality and resolved to strengthen our cooperation in Southeast Asia. The two leaders highlighted the importance of the Quad – Australia, Japan, India, and the United States – as a critical forum for promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and resolved to ensure the Quad delivers practical results in areas such as COVID-19 response, climate and clean energy, and infrastructure. President Biden welcomed Prime Minister Kishida’s invitation to visit Japan for the next Quad Leaders Meeting in the first half of 2022. Noting the critical situation in Tonga after the recent volcanic eruption and tsunami, the two leaders reinforced the importance of working together – and with other partners of the Pacific including Australia, France, and New Zealand – to provide any support necessary to this and future humanitarian disasters in the region.
The two leaders resolved to enhance economic ties between the United States and Japan. Noting the progress made under the Competitiveness and Resilience (CoRe) Partnership announced in April 2021, President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida established a new ministerial-level Economic Policy Consultative Committee (the Economic “2+2”), to track and drive economic cooperation and to strengthen the rules-based economic order in the Indo-Pacific region and the world. The two leaders affirmed the importance of U.S. economic leadership in the Indo-Pacific, which President Biden committed to intensify. To that end, Prime Minister Kishida expressed strong support for President Biden’s proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, and pledged to work closely with the United States to build support for the initiative in the region. The President and Prime Minister Kishida agreed on the importance of economic policies that are sustainable and inclusive, and benefit the middle class. The two leaders also expressed their desire for the swift resolution of trade issues.
President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida reaffirmed their steadfast commitment to partner in advancing global efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent the next. The two leaders agreed to continue working closely together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and new variants, including by aligning our efforts in and around U.S. facilities in Japan. President Biden reaffirmed his intent to host the next Global COVID-19 Summit in the first quarter of 2022 and relayed the importance to follow through and increase collective commitments, including doses and efforts to vaccinate the world, support to save lives now, and sustainable financing for health security and pandemic preparedness. The leaders also agreed that people-to-people ties, including through the Mansfield Fellowship Program, form the bedrock of our friendship and resolved to strengthen our bonds still further.