Washington: US President Joe Biden in a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and discussed the challenges posed by China and North Korea as well as climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and the countries’ shared values.
“It’s been my pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Suga to the White House,” Biden said in during a press conference following the meeting on Friday. “This is our first in-person meeting here, the first head of state that I’ve asked in my administration to come to the White House.”
Biden thanked Suga for making the long trip to Washington and noted they have already met virtually during the G7 meeting and the Quad leaders summit.
“I greatly appreciate the chance to spend time with you in-person and to make our exchange of ideas face-to-face. There is no substitute for face-to-face discussions,” Biden said. “Both Prime Minister Suga and I value the incredible partnership that exists not just between our governments, but between the Japanese people and the American people.”
Suga echoed Biden’s sentiments and emphasized that the US-Japan relationship is increasingly important given the security environment in the Indo-Pacific region.
Biden announced the resumption of the Mansfield Fellowship Program – named after the late US Senator and Ambassador to Japan Mike Mansfield – that is designed to forge people-to-people connections between Japan and the United States.