Japan hopes Biden bridges divisions in the US

Tokyo, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- Japan’s foreign minister expressed confidence on Tuesday that the incoming president of the United States will succeed in uniting the country and bridging divisions in American society.

Toshimitsu Motegi made these remarks on the eve of the inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday and in the backdrop of escalated tensions in the US following the Nov. 3 presidential elections and the attack on the Capitol by the outgoing president Donald Trump’s supporters on Jan. 6.

The assault on the Capitol came as lawmakers were proceeding with certifying Democrat Biden’s victory in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

But in a speech before his supporters gathered in front of the White House, Trump urged them to march to Congress and once again repeated his baseless, and oft disproved, allegations that massive election fraud was the only reason that Biden had defeated his reelection bid.

Speaking at a press conference, Motegi said there had been a division in the US society since the presidential elections.

Addressing this situation will be one of the main tasks of President-elect Biden, he added.

The foreign minister of Japan, one of the main allies of the US in the Asia-Pacific region, hoped that the American people would once again be united under the new administration and overcome their difficulties.

Motegi also stressed that bilateral relations between Washington and Tokyo were stronger-than-ever on account of the trust between Trump and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who resigned from office in September due to health reasons.

Japan hopes to continue strengthening that alliance once Biden takes office on Jan. 20, Motegi said.

The Japanese official also mentioned that boosting bilateral cooperation towards a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” the fight against climate change, and the pandemic were priority issues for Tokyo.

He also stressed the importance of collaboration between Japan, South Korea, and the US in “stabilizing the region” especially in the face of North Korea’s weapons development.

Pyongyang held a military parade on Jan. 14, in which a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) type appears to have been displayed.

It followed the conclusion on Jan. 12 of the congress of the North Korean ruling party during which the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, insisted on strengthening the national “nuclear war deterrent” and “military capabilities.” EFE-EPA


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