Fumio Kishida will have his first substantial talk with the President of the United States, Joe Biden. The main topics of the conversation will be the growth of China, Korea’s nuclear missile tests, and the Russian threat in Ukraine. Fumio Kishida became Japanese prime minister in October.
The meeting between Joe Biden and Kishida will take place this Friday and will be online. The meet would build on this month’s so-called “two-plus-two” discussions when their defense and foreign ministers pledged to work together against efforts to destabilize the Indo-Pacific region.
The comments from the two allies, in a joint statement that followed a virtual meeting of their foreign and defense ministers, highlight how deepening alarm about China and growing tension over Taiwan have put Japan’s security role in focus.
The ministers expressed concerns that China’s efforts “to undermine the rules-based order” presented “political, economic, military and technological challenges to the region and the world”, according to their statement.
Alarm over China’s growing assertiveness, tensions over Taiwan, and shared concern over Ukraine have raised Japan’s global profile on security matters. Meanwhile, North Korea has ramped up tensions with an unusually rapid set of missile tests.
Messaging on China becomes all the more important as Biden and Kishida both face elections this year, for Japan’s upper house of parliament in July and U.S. midterm congressional elections in November.