Biden meets Japan's leader to boost China-facing alliances

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Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday U.S. President Joe Biden has shown support for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, but it remained unclear whether Biden or U.S. athletes will join the rescheduled games amid the pandemic.

"We share serious concerns regarding the human rights situations in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region", it said.

The last time that Taiwan was mentioned in a U.S. -Japan leaders statement was in 1969, when President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Eisaku Sato did so.

Their joint statement also expressed concern over human rights for residents of Hong Kong and for China's ethnic Muslim minority, marking another step where Japan was acceding to a USA push for a public rebuke to China.

Some net users even accused the Japanese side of deliberately causing collisions with China Marine Surveillance ships and then shifting the blame to the Chinese side in order to reaffirm the applicability of Japan-U.S. security treaty over the Diaoyu Islands and strengthen related measures.

It says the two countries oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and object to China's unlawful maritime claims and activities in the South China Sea.

Suga, who is seeking to showcase Japan's security commitments with the United States, Japan's only treaty ally, told reporters before his talks with Biden that the trip was meant to "reaffirm the new and tight bond between us" as the USA and Japan deal with challenges in the region. "We agreed to proceed in that direction, advancing peace, safety and security".

Suga also called for peace and stability in Taiwan, and urged China - whose disputed claim to Taiwan is a potential flashpoint in the region and with the United States - to peacefully resolve the dispute. "There was a frank exchange of views regarding Taiwan". They affirmed cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines and climate change.

For Biden and Suga, "our approach to China and our shared coordination and cooperation on that front will be part of the discussion", White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday.

But these topics paled beside the need to take a common stand on China.

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The White House on Friday remained mum on whether President Joe Biden has plans to attend the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, as Japan continues to make preparations to hold the events amid the coronavirus pandemic. "And I'm confident that this is the first time there has been a summit in that time in which trade was not at the top of the agenda".

The visit was Biden's first face-to-face talks with a foreign leader as president.

For Suga, the summit offers the opportunity to "showcase his rapport with Biden, who may be viewed more positively by the Japanese people than Trump was", the company said, in reference to Biden's predecessor Donald Trump.

"The president emphasizes bipartisanship - and I personally think he's honest - but you don't see it on display with the infrastructure bill and domestic policy", Green said. "He won the Masters", Biden said.

Suga and Biden, who wore masks for their meeting in the state dining room in a visit modified by White House precautions against the coronavirus, are seeking to challenge messaging from Chinese President Xi Jinping that America and democracies in general are on the decline, after the political turmoil and global withdrawal that marked Donald Trump's presidency.

The statement says Japan resolved to bolster its own national defense capabilities to further strengthen the Alliance and regional security.

"Yoshi, you'll probably be seeing a lot more of me in the future", Biden said at the post-meeting press conference in the Rose Garden.

Suga, who is on a state visit to the USA, said at a press conference on Friday that he told President Joe Biden he was committed to moving forward with the Games and that Biden offered his support.

The red-carpet treatment is to signal the importance the Biden administration places on its alliances in Asia in the face of a rising China.

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