There is a conspicuous movement toward tyranny that is threatening the international order. In order to maintain peace and prosperity in the world, Japan and the U.S. must further strengthen their cooperation in various fields and on various issues.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with U.S. President Joe Biden in an online format. This was the first time that the two leaders discussed the regional situation and diplomatic strategy at length.
At the end of the meeting lasting one hour and 20 minutes, Kishida told reporters, “We had a frank discussion on how Japan and the U.S. can work together and lead the international community.”
It is significant that the two leaders deepened trust in their personal relationship and showed their determination to deal with a wide range of issues, including security and the economy, in a coordinated manner.
At the meeting, the leaders agreed that Biden will visit Japan in the first half of this year, and that Japan, the United States, Australia and India will hold a summit meeting in Japan.
Japan, the U.S., Australia and India represent the key framework for promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific. We would like to make efforts to coordinate with other countries so that we can achieve results by enhancing measures against infectious diseases and assistance to developing countries in infrastructure development.
The two leaders also agreed to establish a new economic version of the “two plus two” [dialogue] of foreign and economic ministers.
China is trying to strengthen its influence on other countries through economic coercion by controlling the supply chain of resources and goods. It is also believed that China is trying to obtain cutting-edge technology to convert it to military use.
Japan needs to work with the U.S. to create international rules to balance free trade and economic security. It is also important to continue to urge the U.S. to return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The U.S. is said to be seeking to create a new economic framework in the Indo-Pacific region, and I hope that this will be discussed in detail at the two plus two meeting.
The two leaders reiterated the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and confirmed their policy of working together to deal with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In the East China Sea, China has repeatedly intruded into the territorial waters of the Senkaku Islands. It is essential that the principle be clarified: unilateral change of the status quo by force will never be tolerated.
The two leaders expressed concern over North Korea’s successive missile launches. The prime minister conveyed his intention to consider acquiring enemy base attack capability, and Biden welcomed efforts to strengthen defense capabilities.
How can we enhance the deterrence and coping capabilities of the alliance? It is important that the overall strategy and specific systems be discussed in greater detail.