security, China will dominate Biden talks with Japan’s Kishida | Political news

The virtual meeting will be the first substantive discussion between the two allies since Fumio Kishida became Japanese prime minister in October.

The leaders of the United States and Japan will face growing Chinese power, North Korea’s missiles and Russian targets in Ukraine as they hold their first substantive talks since Fumio Kishida became prime Japanese minister in October.

The online meeting between US President Joe Biden and Kishida, scheduled for Friday Washington time, will build on the so-called “two plus two” talks this month when their defense and foreign ministers meet. are committed to working together against efforts to destabilize the Indo-Pacific region.

Concern over China’s growing assertiveness, tensions over Taiwan and shared concerns over Ukraine have raised Japan’s global security profile, while North Korea has escalated tensions with a series unusually fast missile tests.

Pyongyang, which fired tactically-guided missiles this week in its latest round of tests, warned on Thursday it may reconsider a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests.

Japan’s national broadcaster, NHK, reported Friday that Washington and Tokyo are also calling on all parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to help achieve “a meaningful outcome” at its upcoming review conference.

“Japan and the United States recognize that the NPT is essential to preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and achieving their total elimination.”

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Japanese counterpart Akiba Takeo set the agenda Thursday when they discussed their respective approaches to North Korea, China and economic issues in the Indo-Pacific. , the White House said.

“Sullivan underscored his concern about the possibility of further Russian aggression in Ukraine, and both men agreed on the importance of solidarity in signaling to Moscow the strong and united response that would result from any attack,” he said. a statement from the White House.

The White House said the leaders would discuss economic and security issues, emerging technologies, cybersecurity, climate change and other bilateral issues.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday the goal was to “further strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance” and ensure “a free and open Indo-Pacific” – language used to describe US efforts to push back against China.

“Unstable” security situation

The talks follow other security-related meetings involving Indo-Pacific leaders – two-plus-two talks between Japan and France on Thursday and between Australian and British foreign and defense ministers on Friday .

Japan’s defense minister said after the talks with France that the security situation in the Indo-Pacific was unstable and “hardened”.

Daniel Russel, the top US diplomat for Asia under former President Barack Obama and now with the Asia Society Policy Institute, a think tank, said the two plus two meeting showed that Washington and Tokyo were on the same wavelength.

“We should expect their discussion to focus on practical steps to deter and defend against destabilizing behavior, whether from North Korea or in hotspots like the Taiwan Strait and the South China Seas. and eastern,” he said.

China has stepped up military and diplomatic pressure to assert its sovereignty over Taiwan, which it claims as its own.

Messages about China become all the more important as both Biden and Kishida face elections this year – for Japan’s upper house of parliament in July and the midterm US congressional elections in November.

Both countries are reviewing their security strategy, the details of which are expected to be released later this year. Japan has approved record defense spending for 2022.

Japan will strengthen its defenses of islands near Taiwan, Kishida said this week, following an October pledge to revise its security strategy to consider “all options, including possessing so-called strike capabilities enemy”.

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