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Suga, Biden likely to issue joint statement at summit

The envisaged statement is expected to reaffirm the coverage of the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, by the Japan-US security treaty's Article 5, which stipulates US defense obligations to Japan, Japanese government sources said. The East China Sea islands are claimed by China. (File photo/AP)
The envisaged statement is expected to reaffirm the coverage of the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, by the Japan-US security treaty's Article 5, which stipulates US defense obligations to Japan, Japanese government sources said. The East China Sea islands are claimed by China. (File photo/AP)
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26 Mar 2021 01:03:39 GMT9
26 Mar 2021 01:03:39 GMT9

TOKYO: The Japanese and US governments are planning to issue a joint statement to highlight the outcomes of a summit between Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and President Joe Biden, planned for April, it was learned Friday.

The envisaged statement is expected to reaffirm the coverage of the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, by the Japan-US security treaty’s Article 5, which stipulates US defense obligations to Japan, Japanese government sources said. The East China Sea islands are claimed by China.

The statement is also likely to underline bilateral economic and security cooperation, the sources said.

The reference to the Senkaku Islands is aimed at clarifying the two countries’ policy of working together in dealing with China, which is increasing military pressure in the East China Sea partly through the enforcement of a new law allowing the use of weapons by its coast guard ships against foreign vessels.

With the United States increasingly concerned over a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the statement is likely to underline the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

It is also expected to play up bilateral cooperation on fully denuclearizing North Korea and resolving the issue of abductions of Japanese nationals by Pyongyang decades ago.

On the economic front, the Japanese and US governments are seen affirming their policy of strengthening cooperation to ensure supply chains for such key items as semiconductors and rare earths.

The two countries are also considering ways to deepen cooperation on tackling climate change, a priority issue for Biden, according to the sources.

The Japanese and US governments plan to establish working groups for these areas to use them as bases for reinforcing cooperation between the Suga and Biden administrations.

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