Biden, Kishida to announce US-Japan military partnership

President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will announce a higher level of security and intelligence cooperation between the two countries, senior administration officials said. Kishida is in Washington this week on his first official state visit as prime minister.

The president and Kishida will meet at the White House on Wednesday before holding a joint press conference. The President and First Lady Jill Biden host a state dinner in their honor. Mr. Biden called the prime minister “a true leader, a true partner and a friend.”

“President Eisenhower said his goal was to establish an unbreakable partnership between our nations,” Mr. Biden said. “Today, the world can see, that goal has been achieved, and the partnership between us is unbreakable.”

President Joe Biden, right, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stand for the U.S. national anthem during a state visit ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in Washington.

Susan Walsh / AB

Details of the enhanced military partnership will be worked out by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Japanese counterpart in the next few months, senior administration officials said. However, the United States expects Japan to play a significant role in the production of more military and defense equipment.

With Philippine President Bongbong Marcos joining the two leaders in a three-way summit on Thursday, another clear goal of this week's meetings between the United States and Asian nations has become clear: to underscore global coordination in the face of heightened hostility in the region. China.

China has conducted some maritime skirmishes with the Philippines in the South China Sea in recent weeks, with the Chinese coast guard firing water cannons at Philippine vessels.

US officials said the hostility would not deter the Philippines. “The isolated country on Thursday was China, not the Philippines,” one official said of the Washington summit this week.

School children arrive as President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden welcome Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife Yuko Kishida to the White House for a state visit on the South Lawn, Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in Washington.

Alex Brandon / AB

Regarding greater intelligence cooperation, US officials noted that the Japanese have “taken significant steps” to protect highly sensitive intelligence information, although the official said there is “more work to be done” before Japan can achieve the level of information security required to join. Five eyes Intelligence Network. Joining the intelligence-sharing agreement, which includes the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, is seen by Japanese security experts as a means of adding additional protection against China's provocations.

Officials also shared another way to bring Japan to greater security and intelligence sharing: The country would begin consultations on joining the Biden-era defense pact between Australia, the UK and the US.

The high-level objectives are part of a 70-point plan that the US and Japan are expected to announce this week.

Other promises are much lighter. Japan has offered saplings instead of hundreds of popular saplings Cherry blossom trees In the Tidal Basin, the Japanese prime minister is expected to launch some of these plantings at a ceremony on the National Mall on Wednesday.

Officials said a “major” lunar deal would be announced, along with increased university research and new scholarships for American high school students to enter exchange study programs with Japanese schools.

Overall, the US-Japan alliance, along with the Indo-Pacific countries Mr. U.S. officials also said Biden's theory of increased engagement is evidence that it will foster greater cooperation around the world. A senior administration official said Japan previously was only concerned about its “periphery,” but in recent years, the country has become a vocal supporter of Ukraine, sanctions against Russia and greater involvement in the Middle East.

“Wherever American resolve is put to the test, Japan is on our side,” said one US official.

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