To Counter China’s Rising Power, Biden Looks to Strengthen Ties With Japan

The United States and Japan, faced with the challenges posed by an increasingly hostile China, are expected to further integrate their militaries and announce new agreements on technology and defense on Wednesday as President Biden hosts Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for a state visit to Washington.

The talks are part of the Biden administration’s diplomatic outreach to counter China, which includes recent war games with Seoul. On Thursday, Mr. Biden and Mr. Kishida will meet with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines, another Pacific islands nation that finds itself the target of a mounting Chinese military presence in the South China Sea.

The Biden administration is signaling the importance of its relationship with Tokyo by holding an official state dinner on Wednesday evening in honor of Mr. Kishida, something reserved for America’s closest allies.

During a day of meetings, the two leaders will announce new plans designed to confront the far-reaching ambitions of China, which Mr. Biden has described as the only global rival to the United States with the “intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to advance that objective.”

That concern comes amid hand-wringing in Washington and Tokyo over the possibility of a return to power by former President Donald J. Trump, whose unpredictable foreign policy has kept many world leaders on edge. One goal for Mr. Biden, officials said, is to create as much permanence in the Japanese relationship as possible before the election in November.

One administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the upcoming meeting, said there was “anxiety in capitals” around the world, including in Tokyo, about whether Mr. Trump would continue the international engagement that Mr. Biden and prior presidents have embraced. Another official said there was a real risk that Mr. Trump, if elected, could move to undo what the leaders of the two countries announce on Wednesday.

Back to top button