Daily US Times: President Joe Biden has vowed to strengthen the his country’s alliance with Japan to counter growing Chinese military activity in the volatile Asia-Pacific region, including a commitment to defend the Senkakus, a group of islands in the East China sea administered by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing.
US President Biden and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga agreed during a phone call that their countries’ security alliance was “the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
Biden’s vow to strengthen security arrangements in the region contrasted with the approach taken by his predecessor Donald Trump, who publicly mulled withdrawing troops from South Korea and Japan, both key US allies.
Trump also complained that Japan and South Korea were not paying enough towards their own security and called on them to buy more US-made defence equipment.
“We managed to have substantial exchanges,” Japan’s Prime Minister Suga said after his 30-minute call with Biden.
Mr Suga added: “We agreed to strengthen our alliance firmly by having more phone calls like this.”
The White House said in a statement that president Biden reaffirmed the US commitment to provide “extended deterrence” to Japan, a reference to the US nuclear umbrella.
Both leaders also agreed on the need for the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, as speculation mounts over how Biden intends to engage with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, over his nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.