Biden meets prime minister in Japan before G7 summit. Amid rising Chinese military and economic ambitions, Vice President Joe Biden landed in Japan on Thursday as part of a shortened Asia tour to bolster allies.
Biden’s original itinerary called for him to make three stops over eight days, but now he’ll only make two to get back to Washington in time to negotiate to increase the US debt ceiling.
Biden is trying to rally the leaders of some of the world’s significant economies around a vow to take on Beijing’s aggressions and back Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion. Still, he only has time to stop in Japan for the Group of Seven meetings.
As a sign that the rapid development of AI has prompted worry among international leaders, a panel debate on the topic will also be held.
However, leaders were anticipated to question Biden on the risks associated with the potential for a US default as they kick up negotiations on Friday.
On the day of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, President Obama met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, stressing the importance of strong ties between the two countries in the face of rising Chinese military and economic ambitions and Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
“Mr. Prime Minister, the basic truth is that our countries are stronger when we work together. I think we make the globe safer when we do it,” Biden told his host.
Biden, sitting opposite Kishida at the beginning of a bilateral discussion with top aides, cited Kishida’s earlier this year remarks during a visit to the White House, in which he said that the United States and Japan face one of the most challenging security settings in recent history.
I agree with you, and it makes me happy to see the United States and Japan working together to solve this problem. Biden, accompanied by national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said, “And, you know, we stand up for the shared values, including supporting the brave people in Ukraine as they defend their sovereign territory and holding Russia accountable for this brutal aggression.”
“We’re tracking the global challenges from strengthening our community and commitment to nuclear nonproliferation to ensuring the free and open Indo-Pacific at the heart of all this,” he continued.
New quantum computing and semiconductors agreements are just two examples of how the United States and Japan work together to advance upcoming technology.
He expressed appreciation to Kishida for hosting and expressed anticipation for the upcoming meeting. Reporters were unable to ask questions of the leaders.
With China in mind.
Since Japan is the only country in Asia to be a part of the G7, the meeting is only held in Asia once every seven years. China has lately sailed warships close to Japan in the lead-up to these summits, and this has helped create a feeling of urgency in the conversations among the leaders.
Biden’s aides have stressed there will be no “arm twisting” at the G7 table concerning China and have conceded that each country represented will make its own decision. The G7 comprises the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the European Union.
However, President Trump highly values group efforts and seeks consensus on matters such as Taiwan, the South China Sea, and Beijing’s oppressive economic policies.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Air Force One as Biden headed to Japan, “I think you will see, coming out of this summit, alignment, and convergence around the fundamental principles of our approach to the People’s Republic of China.” Although every nation has its unique style of relating to and approaching the world, they all have a foundation. And the results of the G7 will reflect that.
During his four days here, Vice President Biden will meet with numerous G7 allies and other leaders not in the G7 who have been invited as guests.
After a planned summit of the group was aborted when Biden canceled his visit to Sydney, arrangements were prepared to meet leaders of the Quad alliance, which consists of the United States, Japan, Australia, and India.
He’ll address a press conference on Sunday before returning to the capital.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive preparations
After Russia invaded Ukraine, the G7 was more crucial than any other global coalition in keeping the West together. The bloc’s leaders have given it new life by coordinating sanctions and billions of military aid.
This week, the G7 will release new penalties to prevent Russian firms from dodging the existing limits so that the trend will continue. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, will likely make a virtual appearance and plea for cutting-edge weaponry.
Ukraine’s military is gearing up for a counteroffensive with the backing of billions of dollars in additional Western military aid, and its leaders are due to discuss the situation on the ground.
US officials say peace discussions with Zelensky will be more accessible if Ukraine gains enough land to give Zelensky some bargaining power. However, where or how these negotiations will occur is still being determined. In the meantime, European allies are worried that the battle may become a stalemate.
Japan’s recent increase in military spending
The White House has applauded Japan’s new, more forceful foreign policy in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s growing military ambition.
With increasing threats from regional rivals like China, Kishida launched a new national security strategy in December that doubled defense spending to the country’s most significant military expansion since World War II.
The decision was a sea change for the country and the United States’ strategic alliance in the Indo-Pacific.
Kishida’s travel to Kyiv in March cemented that Japan’s foreign policy was entering a new era when he became the first post-World War II leader to visit a war zone.
The symbolic city of Hiroshima, where his family has deep ties, has also been chosen as the location for his summit with world leaders. The city serves as a reminder to the assembled leaders of the importance of their diplomatic efforts, as it was destroyed by an American atomic bomb in 1945. The bombings claimed the lives of over 100,000 people.
Vice President Biden will be the second sitting US president to visit Hiroshima. 2016 President Obama made a historic trip here, meeting with survivors and laying a wreath at a memorial site.
Despite hastening the end of WWII, the Hiroshima explosion ushered in a new era of atomic brinksmanship. At a time when nuclear threats from North Korea, Iran, and Russia have everyone on edge, this week’s meeting couldn’t come at a better time.