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Biden and Kishida affirm the strength of the US-Japanese alliance


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US President Joe Biden welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House on Friday, praising the strength of the two countries’ alliance and the increasing role that Japan intends to play in safeguarding stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

“I want to be very clear: The United States is fully, resolutely and fully committed to this alliance and most importantly to the defense of Japan,” Biden said in the Oval Office, welcoming again the “historic increase” in Japan’s military budget and its new security strategy.

“You are a true leader and a true friend,” the US president added.

For his part, the Japanese Prime Minister spoke about the new defense doctrine approved in December, which provides for a massive increase in the defense budget.

He said that would “benefit our deterrence and response capabilities.”

This is the first visit to Washington by the Japanese prime minister, whose country holds the presidency of the Group of Seven countries this year.

The visit comes at the end of a tour in Europe and North America that included France, Italy, Britain and Canada.

Biden and Kishida are scheduled to discuss a range of international issues, including the war in Ukraine, strengthening bilateral relations, as well as issues related to the economy and technology.

In December, Tokyo unveiled an overhaul of its defense doctrine, which included nearly doubling military spending to 2% of national GDP by 2027.

It also intends to acquire a “counterattack capability” by acquiring long-range missiles, a major change in a country whose post-World War II pacifist constitution forbids war.

It is expected that the Japanese Prime Minister will conclude a framework agreement in the field of space cooperation with the US Space Agency (NASA) later, “Friday.”