Kishida and Biden discuss cooperation and security

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio had his first in-depth talks with President Joe Biden since taking office in October.

The leaders met online for about 80 minutes on Friday.

They said they were determined to seek common opportunities and confront common threats. They said bilateral relations have never been stronger.

Kishida said he offered to host a summit of the Quad alliance leaders – Japan, the United States, Australia and India – in the first half of the year. He said Biden agreed.

He said they agreed to work closely together on security threats in the Indo-Pacific region, including North Korean missile tests and China’s growing assertiveness in regional waters.

He told Biden he wanted to revise Japan’s national security strategy and strengthen its defense capabilities. He said the president reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to protecting Japan. They also agreed to establish high-level talks on economic issues.

After the meeting, Biden tweeted that the Japan-US alliance is “the cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific and the world.”

White House officials said leaders agreed the alliance “has never been stronger or more needed.” They said Biden had accepted Kishida’s invitation to visit Japan.