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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to visit Washington


Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to visit Washington

Photo: EPA-EFE/Kimimasa Mayama/POOL

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will today meet with US President Joe Biden in Washington, DC.

Coming as Biden’s first in-person meeting with a foreign leader, today’s meeting is a formidable reaffirmation of Biden’s Indo-Pacific foreign policy of off-shore balancing, deepening ties with and empowering regional allies to encourage more responsibility-sharing in combatting security threats.

As a member of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad) alongside the US, India and Australia, Japan serves as a lynchpin in Biden’s strategy for countering China’s growing influence in the region. Although the Quad does not explicitly exist to challenge China, the organisation has framed China as its largest strategic problem.

Expect both leaders to discuss how Japan and the US can cooperate to combat China’s aggressive activities in the East and South China Seas, today. Nevertheless, the challenges remain great as China’s use of artificial island-building and maritime militias to occupy more territory preclude total attribution thus falling short of precipitating a diplomatic or military response. For his part, Suga—up for reelection in October 2021—will be under pressure to show results from today’s meeting as his approval ratings, though seeing a spike in March, continue to remain low.

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Photo: Reuters

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