President Joe Biden yesterday sought to present a united front with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to counter an increasingly assertive China as the U.S. leader held his first face-to-face White House summit since taking office. Biden hosted Suga for talks that offered the President, a chance to work further on his pledge to revitalize U.S. alliances that frayed under his predecessor Donald Trump.
China topped the agenda, underscoring Japan’s central role in U.S. efforts to face down Beijing. Other pressing concerns at the talks included China’s increased military movements near Taiwan, its tightening grip on Hong Kong and its crackdown on Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.
At the White House news conference, Suga said he told Biden that he was committed to moving forward with the summer Olympic Games in Japan and that Biden offered his support. With the meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Suga and another planned summit with South Korea in May, Biden hopes to energize joint efforts with Australia, India and Japan in Quad, as well as with South Korea, to counter China and longtime U.S. foe North Korea.