The leaders of the United States and Japan agreed in a virtual meeting on Friday to boost cooperation on pressing economic and security issues, including China’s growing might, North Korea’s missiles and Russia’s aims in Ukraine.
The online meeting between US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was the first substantial conversation between the two since Kishida became Japan’s prime minister in October.
After the meeting, which lasted one hour and 20 minutes, Kishida said they had agreed to cooperate to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific, to work closely on China and the North Korean missile issue and on Ukraine.
“We agreed to work together to advance cooperation among like-minded countries to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Kishida told reporters.
“We agreed to closely cooperate on China-related issues, including the East and South China Seas, Hong Kong, and the Xinjiang Uyghur [Autonomous Region], as well as North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues,” he added.
Kishida said he and Biden would work closely to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine and would “keep close contact with other allies and partners and continue communicating on the point that any attack will be met with strong action”.
The meeting builds on so-called “two-plus-two” discussions between the US and Japan involving defence and foreign ministers who earlier pledged to work together against efforts to destabilise the Indo-Pacific region.
Alarm over China’s growing assertiveness, tensions over Taiwan, and shared concern about Ukraine have raised Japan’s global profile on security matters, while North Korea has ramped up tensions with an unusually rapid series of missile tests…ReadMore….