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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 April 14 - 20  > Suga and Biden affirm strengthening of bilateral alliance to counter China and incorporate 'Taiwan' into joint statement for 1st time in 52 years
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2021 April 14 - 20 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Suga and Biden affirm strengthening of bilateral alliance to counter China and incorporate 'Taiwan' into joint statement for 1st time in 52 years

April 18, 2021

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and U.S. President Joe Biden held a summit meeting on April 16 in Washington. In their joint statement, they affirmed the further strengthening of the bilateral alliance, underscoring "the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait" and encouraging "the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues". The two leaders touched upon "Taiwan" in their joint document for the first time in 52 years after PM Sato Eisaku and President Nixon did so in November 1969.

At a joint press conference held after the summit meeting, Suga and Biden reconfirmed the position shared in the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (2-plus-2 talks) in March which called for putting military pressure on China.

According to the joint statement, the construction of a new U.S. base at Henoko in Okinawa's Nago City as replacement for the U.S. Futenma facility is "the only solution that avoids the continued use of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma". They remain committed to the implementation of the Field Landing Practice Facility on Mageshima Island in Kagoshima's Nishinoomote City and the relocation of a U.S. Marine Corps unit from Okinawa to Guam. Furthermore, they resolved to conclude "a meaningful multi-year Host Nation Support agreement" which includes a special agreement on the so-called sympathy budget for the stationing of the U.S. forces in Japan.

The two leaders agreed to oppose China's "unilateral attempts to change the status quo" in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and said that they "share serious concern" regarding the human rights situations in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. They also expressed concern regarding the situation in Myanmar. They discussed the issues of North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs as well as of North Korea's abduction of Japanese nationals.

Suga and Biden, in their statement of mutual agreement on economic issues, COVID-19, and climate change, agreed to invest a total of 4.5 billion dollars or 490 billion yen in the state-of-the-art development of 5th generation (5G) and of the next generation (6G) wireless networks, showing the intent to jointly compete with China in high-tech fields. They also agreed that they will partner on sensitive supply chains, including on semi-conductors, and will promote and protect critical technologies.

Past relates article:
> Japan-US ‘2+2’ talks confirm strengthening of alliance to counter China’s growing influence [March 17, 2021]

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