(dpa) – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will hold face-to-face talks with US President Joe Biden in Washington on April 16, Tokyo said on Friday.
Suga will become the first foreign leader to meet in person with the new US president, who took office in January, at the White House, Japanese government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told a news conference.
It shows “the strong ties of the Japan-US alliance and America’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region,” Kato said.
The two leaders are expected to discuss climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, issues related to China and North Korea and cooperation toward a free and open Indo-Pacific region, he said.
The two leaders’ summit meeting will take place amid heightened tensions as China’s activities in East China and South China seas.
Chinese coastguard vessels frequently approach a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, a source of diplomatic tension between Beijing and Tokyo.
The Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan, where they are called Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai respectively.
The meeting was originally planned in the first half of April and it has been pushed back to April 16, Kato said.