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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Japan ‘fully supports’ US in deterring Russian aggression, Kishida tells Biden

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made clear in virtual talks with US President Joe Biden on Friday that his country “will fully support the United States” in containing Russian aggression against Ukraine, a senior administration official said.

The two leaders discussed rising tensions caused by Russia’s concentration of tens of thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine, the official said.

In a statement released by the White House, the official said Kishida pledged to continue to coordinate closely with the United States, other allies and partners, and the international community in taking strong action in response to any attack.

“We did not go into details of the possible steps that would be taken in the event that we see these actions take place,” the official said, adding that the two leaders would be consulting closely on the matter.

The 80-minute discussion also touched on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province and the situation in Hong Kong, where the CCP is accused of suppressing democracy.

Biden and Kishida stressed the importance of stability in the Taiwan Strait, where tensions are rising between the self-ruled island of Taiwan and China. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and vows to take control of the island by force if necessary.

The two leaders vowed to “oppose” China’s attempts to change the status quo in the South China Sea, where China is building up its military presence, and in the East China Sea, especially in the disputed Senkaku Islands, the White House said in a statement. statement.

The Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea have been largely under Japanese administration since 1895, but Beijing began to assert its rights to the islands in the 1970s. In China, the islands are called the Diaoyu Islands.

The White House noted that Biden “reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of the United States to the defense of Japan, using the full range of its capabilities,” including the application of the Japan-US security treaty of 1960.

Following North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches, the leaders of the two countries condemned Pyongyang’s actions as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and pledged to maintain close coordination on the issue, including with South Korea.

North Korea on Thursday said it would seek to immediately develop “more powerful physical means” to quell “increasing United States hostility” after the Biden administration imposed its first sanctions on Pyongyang’s weapons programs.

Asked about Pyongyang’s statement, the official said the United States sent “a very clear signal to North Korea” in an attempt to dissuade North Korea from “taking further provocative steps.”

“The United States and South Korea remain open to diplomacy. But such a set of steps would be highly undesirable, especially at this challenging time in Northeast Asia and globally in general,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Biden has accepted Kishida’s invitation to pay an official visit to Japan this spring and attend this year’s Quad Summit, a meeting held between the leaders of Japan, the US, Australia and India.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

To follow

Aldgra Fredley is a Malaysian-based freelance writer covering Asia-Pacific news for The Epoch Times.


World Nation News Desk
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