Japan’s Prime Minister and Biden to Hold Virtual Meeting

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden opted to hold their bilateral talks this week via videoconference, after COVID-19 concerns stalled plans for an in-person meeting.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced in a statement that the meeting will take place on Friday, adding that the “meeting will highlight the strength of the U.S.-Japan Alliance, which is the cornerstone of peace, security, and stability in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.”

The statement added that the meeting will expand the two allies’ cooperation on addressing COVID-19, the climate crisis, and “partnering on new and emerging technologies”, including through “the Quad,” a partnership between Japan, the U.S., India and Australia.

Kishida had initially pushed for in-person talks with Biden on Monday, although those plans were canceled due to the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 surging in both the U.S. and Japan.

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