Suga says Biden supports Tokyo Olympics but attendance uncertain

Suga says Biden supports Tokyo Olympics but attendance uncertain

"Japan's basic policy on pending issues caused by China is to firmly assert what should be asserted and strongly request China to take specific action", he said. "We're going to work together to prove that democracies can still compete and win in the 21st century".

Both leaders referenced the need to confront challenges in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, a nod to an increasingly aggressive Beijing. China has been building military bases on artificial islands in the region also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The Biden administration calls managing US policies toward China and the Indo-Pacific the primary challenge for the United States.

Before that, the positive rates were generally lower, possibly because of the US perception about an economic threat Japan posed, as well as a series of disputes over America's military presence in the country, mostly in Okinawa Prefecture.

The two leaders also discussed the Summer Olympics, which are scheduled for later this year in Tokyo.

"The Biden administration, I think, is concerned at how aggressive China has been and how much ground the USA has lost in recent years in Asia and wants to catch up quickly", said Michael Green, who was the top Asia adviser to former president George W. Bush and is now senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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Biden also said the two nations would partner on health security and work to achieve reform at the World Health Organization (WHO). Suga expressed gratitude for being Biden's first foreign visitor and condolences for the victims of the deadly shooting overnight at a FedEx plant in Indianapolis.

In what will be Biden's first in-person meeting with a foreign leader at the White House, the two leaders are expected to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the Biden administration's North Korea policy review, regional security issues, the climate crisis, relations with China and technology policy, according to a senior administration official.

"It does not look exactly like the typical bilateral meetings that you have attended in the past and we look forward to returning to normal on many fronts but certainly this one as well", Psaki said.

At a press conference in the Rose Garden after their meeting, Biden stressed USA commitments to Japan's defence and said the alliance - the U.S.is Japan's only treaty ally - would "prove that democracies can still commit and win" and "deliver for our people".

Earlier this month, China also sent a naval strike group near Okinawa, where the U.S. has troops, a signal Beijing is prepared to counter the U.S. -Japan alliance. The White House announced on Thursday that Biden plans to meet with South Korea President Moon Jae-in in Washington, D.C., in the second half of May. That came during a visit last month by Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, which was the Biden administration's highest-level face-to-face meeting at the time. "So today, we're announcing a new competitive and reliance partnership corps between Japan and the United States that will enhance our ability, enhance our ability to meet the pressing challenges of our time, together beat those challenges", Biden said.

Biden said: "We're committed to defending and advancing our shared values, including human rights and the rule of law. Our alliance has served its role as the foundation of peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region and the world".

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