TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will leave for Washington Thursday to hold his first face-to-face summit meeting with US President Joe Biden.
In the White House summit set for Friday, the two leaders are expected to confirm cooperation to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region that fosters democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
The leaders are likely to express opposition to China’s coercive behavior. They will also discuss regional issues such as North Korea and Myanmar, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suga will become the first foreign leader to meet Biden in person since the US president’s inauguration in January. They are scheduled to hold a joint press conference after their talks.
Japan and the United States are considering issuing a joint statement on bilateral relations and supplementary documents on climate change and economic cooperation.
During his stay in Washington, Suga will visit Arlington National Cemetery and meet key Biden administration officials.
The Japanese delegation will be limited to some 80 officials due to the pandemic. Neither Suga’s wife, Mariko, nor any Japanese ministers will join the tour. Suga has received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Suga and Biden talked by telephone on Jan. 28. They also held talks on March 12 as part of a virtual “Quad” summit of leaders from Japan, the United States, Australia and India.