Biden Welcomes Japan’s Prime Minister to the White House

January 13, 2023

President Biden welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to the White House Friday, saying that the U.S. strongly supports the defense of Japan.

“The United States is fully, thoroughly, and completely committed to the alliance,” Biden said during a photo op at the White House shortly before noon. 

The sit-down in front of the media followed an Oval Office meeting between the two leaders, during which Biden thanked Kishida for strong leadership in working closely on technology and economic issues. 

The pair are looking to build security cooperation at a time of rising threats from North Korea as well as increasing tensions arising from China.

Earlier this week, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with their Japanese counterparts to agree to a shifting defense posture for U.S. marines on the Japanese island of Okinawa—one that involves creating a smaller, more rapidly mobile unit, expected to be better able and equipped to fight an adversary and defend the U.S. and its allies in the region. 

On Wednesday, Japan also signed a defense deal strengthening its military ties with the UK that could eventually see troops deployed to each others’ countries.

While in Washington, Kishida will visit NASA, where Blinken and Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa are set to sign an agreement that will build on the U.S. and Japanese commitment to the peaceful, transparent exploration of space.

The U.S. is the final leg a week-long international trip that also took Kishida to five European nations as well as to Canada in an effort to strengthen Japan’s security.

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