The virtual meeting will be the first major discussion between the two allies since Fumio Kishida became Japan’s prime minister in October.
The leaders of the United States and Japan will fight China’s growing power, North Korea’s missiles and Russia’s targets in Ukraine as they hold their first major talks since Fumio Kishida became Japan’s prime minister in October.
The online meeting between US President Joe Biden and Kishida, scheduled for Friday in Washington, D.C., will be based on so-called “two plus two” discussions this month, when their defense ministers and foreign ministers pledged to work together to destabilize Indo – Pacific region.
Concerns about China’s growing confidence, tensions over Taiwan and shared concerns about Ukraine have boosted Japan’s global security profile, while North Korea has escalated tensions with an unusually rapid series of missile tests.
Pyongyang, which launched tactically guided missiles this week in its latest series of tests, warned on Thursday that it could reconsider the moratorium on nuclear and missile tests.
Japan’s national operator, NHK, said on Friday that Washington and Tokyo also called on all parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to help achieve a “significant result” at their next review conference.
“Japan and the United States recognize the NPT as indispensable for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and for achieving their complete elimination.
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Japanese counterpart Akiba Takeo set the agenda Thursday as they discussed their respective approaches to North Korea, China and economic issues in the Indo-Pacific region, the White House said.
“Sullivan expressed concern about the possibility of further Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the two agreed on the importance of solidarity in signaling to Moscow the strong, united response that will result from any attack,” the White House said in a statement.
The White House said the leaders would discuss economic and security issues, emerging technologies, cybersecurity, climate change and other bilateral issues.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday that the goal is to “further strengthen the US-Japan alliance” and ensure a “free and open Indo-Pacific region” – a language used to describe US efforts to repulsed China.
“Unstable” security situation
The talks are followed by other security-related meetings involving leaders of the Indo-Pacific region – 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 talks with France that the security situation in the Indo-Pacific region was unstable and “deteriorating”.
Daniel Russell, the top US diplomat on Asia under former President Barack Obama and now with the Asian Institute for Public Policy, a think tank, said the two-plus-two meeting showed that Washington and Tokyo are on the same page.
“We should expect their discussion to focus on practical measures to deter and protect against destabilizing behavior, whether from North Korea or in hotspots such as the Taiwan Strait and the South and East China Seas,” he said.
China has stepped up military and diplomatic pressure to assert its sovereignty over Taiwan, which it claims to be its own.
The announcements about China are becoming even more important as Biden and Kishida face elections this year – for the upper house of the Japanese parliament in July and the midterm elections to the US Congress in November.
Both nations are reviewing their security strategy, with details expected to be revealed later this year. Japan approves record defense spending for 2022
Japan will step up its defenses on islands near Taiwan, Kishida said this week, after promising in October to review the security strategy to consider “all options, including possessing so-called enemy strike capabilities.”