Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday he had agreed with U.S. President Joe Biden in a phone call to strengthen their bilateral alliance, as China expands its economic and military might.
They also agreed to arrange a U.S. visit for Suga as early as possible, he told reporters. The White House said the two affirmed the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance “as the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
They also reconfirmed that the U.S.-Japan security treaty applied to a group of tiny Japan-controlled East China Sea islets that China claims, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Biden reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to provide “extended deterrence” to Japan, a reference to the U.S. nuclear umbrella covering Japan, the White House said in a statement.
The two leaders affirmed the necessity of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, it added. “We managed to have substantial exchanges. We agreed to strengthen our alliance firmly by having more phone calls like this,” Suga said.