Joe Biden She pledged to strengthen the US alliance with Japan To counter increasing Chinese military activity in the turbulent Asia-Pacific region, including a commitment to defend Senkakus, a group of islands in the East China Sea administered by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing.
President of the United States and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga During a phone call, they agreed that their two countries’ security alliance is “the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the free and open Indian Oceans and the Pacific.”
Biden’s pledge to bolster security arrangements in the region contrasts with the approach taken by Donald Trump, who has openly considered withdrawing troops from Japan and South KoreaBoth are major allies of the United States.
Trump also complained that Tokyo and Seoul were not paying enough for their security, and called on them to buy more US-made defense equipment.
“We were able to have great exchanges,” Suga said after his 30-minute call with Biden. “We agreed to firmly strengthen our alliance by making more phone calls like this.”
Biden was reaffirmed we The White House said in a statement that it was committed to providing “expanded deterrence” to Japan, referring to the US nuclear umbrella.
They also agreed on the need for a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, with speculation mounting about how Biden intends. Engage with North Korean leader Kim Jong UnAbout its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Biden’s “steadfast commitment” to the defense of the Senkaku was expected, but gained additional significance, a week after Beijing passed legislation allowing Coast Guard ships to use weapons against foreign ships believed to be involved in illegal activities around the uninhabited island chain.
The two did not discuss the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which The future is in doubt Officials said the world continues to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Suga’s predecessor, Shinzo Abe, struck up an affair with Trump during this time Golf tours In Japan and the United States, it was the first World leader to meet him After winning the elections in 2016.
Suga said he hoped to “deepen my personal relationship with President Biden,” adding that he intends to visit Washington as soon as the coronavirus pandemic permits.
Media reports in one language Japan He said the two leaders agreed to call each other Joe and Yoshi.
Biden’s Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, had previously told the Philippine Secretary of State, Teodoro Luxen, that the United States had rejected China’s maritime claims in the south. China The sea is beyond what is permitted under international law.
Blinken said Washington has stood with the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries in resisting pressure from Beijing, which is claiming large areas of the South China Sea.
Minister Blinken pledged to stand with the claimants from Southeast Asia against the People’s Republic of China [People’s Republic of China] The Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
China claims nearly all of the energy-rich South China Sea, and it is also a major trade route. The Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Taiwan have overlapping claims.
The United States has accused China of taking advantage of the distraction caused by the Coronavirus pandemic to boost its presence in the South China Sea.
The statement said that Blinken, who joined the Biden administration this week, “stressed that the United States rejects China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea to the extent that it exceeds the maritime areas that China is permitted to claim under international law.”
Relations between the United States and China deteriorated under Trump over a host of issues, including trade, the epidemic, Beijing’s suppression of the democratic movement in Hong Kong, and its persecution of Uighur Muslims.