Japan-US Summit Meeting
On April 16, 2021, Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, while visiting Washington DC, held a Japan-U.S. summit meeting with the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., President of the United States of America. The overview is as follows.
President Biden stated that he was honored to welcome Prime Minister Suga as the first foreign-leader to visit the U.S. during his presidency. In response, Prime Minister Suga expressed his deep appreciation for President Biden’s friendship and hospitality.
The two leaders noted their shared universal values, including freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, and they shared the view on strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance, which is the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. They also confirmed that Japan and the United States will strengthen their unity and cooperation while partnering with like-minded countries such as Australia, India, and ASEAN countries towards the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
The two leaders exchanged views on the regional situations in China, North Korea, Republic of Korea, Myanmar, and elsewhere.
The leaders exchanged views on the impact of China on the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and the world as a whole. They shared the view on opposing any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas and any acts of intimidation. It was pointed out that candid conversations with China were necessary to address these issues, and they shared the view on pursuing stability in international affairs while defending universal values.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea, and shared the view to urge North Korea to abide by its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions. Prime Minister Suga asked for continued understanding and cooperation for the immediate resolution of the abductions issue, and President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to calling for the immediate resolution of the issue. The two leaders concurred that trilateral cooperation among Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea is essential to security and prosperity.
They strongly condemned the situation in Myanmar where the use of force against civilians by Myanmar military and police continues to cause a large number of deaths and injuries in the country and reaffirmed that the two countries will work together to strongly urge the Myanmar military to immediately stop resorting to violence against civilians, release the detainees and swiftly restore Myanmar’s democratic political system.
The two leaders committed to enhancing deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance in light of this increasingly severe regional security environment. They shared the view to accelerate consideration on concrete ways to strengthen the Alliance. Prime Minister Suga expressed his determination to bolster Japan’s defense capabilities. President Biden confirmed the United States’ commitment to Japan’s defense, including the application of Article V of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty to the Senkaku Islands. The leaders shared the view on steady implementation of the realignment plan of the U.S. forces in Japan, including the relocation of the Futenma Replacement Facility to Henoko as the only solution that avoids the continued use of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, to reduce the impact on Okinawa and other local communities.
The two leaders shared the view on strengthening the close economic relationship between Japan and the United States and confirmed the importance of Japan-U.S. cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and the global economy.
In view of these discussions, the two leaders agreed to issue a U.S.-Japan Joint Leader’s Statement titled “U.S.-Japan Global Partnership for a New Era.” This statement will serve as a compass for the Japan-U.S. Alliance in the future.
The two leaders agreed on the “Japan-U.S. Competitiveness and Resilience (CoRe) Partnership” to lead “Build Back Better” in the world. Based upon this partnership, they shared a view on promoting competitiveness and innovation including in the digital and science and technology fields, common priorities to both countries, and cooperating in areas such as the COVID-19 response, green growth, and climate change.
Regarding climate change, the leaders confirmed that Japan and the United States will lead the world in decarbonization towards COP26 and beyond, including at the Climate Summit to be hosted by the United States. In addition, they shared the view on launching the “Japan-U.S. Climate Partnership on Ambition, Decarbonization, and Clean Energy” to strengthen cooperation on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, on clean energy technology, and the transition to decarbonization in developing countries.
Prime Minister Suga expressed his determination to hold the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as a symbol of world unity this summer, and President Biden reiterated his support. Prime Minister Suga requested that the U.S. lift import restrictions on Japanese food products, including rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture, after the East Japan Earthquake.
The two leaders reaffirmed the unity of the Japan-U.S. Alliance through their first face-to-face meeting, and Prime Minister Suga invited President Biden to pay a visit to Japan as early as possible. They shared the view on continuing to strengthen bilateral relations through the exchange of high-level visits, bearing in mind the COVID-19 situation.