- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 3, 2023

President Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House next week for talks focusing on the economy and the growing list of global security challenges, the White House announced Tuesday.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the two leaders would meet Jan. 13 to address North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs, stability in the Taiwan Strait, and Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Kishida also are expected to discuss Japan’s recently revamped national security strategy, which will usher in the biggest boost to Japan’s military footprint since World War II.

“Over the past year, the two leaders have worked closely together to modernize the U.S.-Japan Alliance, expand our cooperation on key issues … and advance a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said.

“The leaders will celebrate the unprecedented strength of the U.S.-Japan Alliance and will set the course for their partnership in the year ahead,” she said.

Tensions in Japan’s backyard have skyrocketed in recent months amid North Korea’s uptick in highly provocative missile tests. China has also escalated tensions in the Taiwan Strait in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in August.

The two leaders met in November during the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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