Tokyo, Mar 12 (efe-epa).- Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga plans to visit the United States in April to meet with Joe Biden, becoming the first foreign leader who will have face-to-face talks with the new US president.
Government spokesperson Katsunobu Kato told reporters on Friday that the official visit would take place as early as “the first half of April.”
He said the two countries were in touch to “finalize the details and dates” of the visit for the first face-to-face meeting between Biden and a foreign head of state since the Democrat was sworn-in as 46th US president.
Kato said the prime minister and the rest of his delegation would be vaccinated for the coronavirus before the trip.
He said the government would reduce the number of delegates to the minimum possible for the trip.
It would be the Japanese prime minister’s second foreign trip since he took office in September last year. He traveled to Vietnam and Indonesia in October.
“We hope to further strengthen bilateral ties including the Japan-US alliance and confirm close cooperation toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Kato said.
Kato underscored the importance of the US-Japan alliance in “maintaining peace and prosperity in the region and the world.”
The announcement of the visit came on the same day Biden and Suga will speak in a virtual summit of the leaders of the so-called Quad member nations that groups the US, Japan, Australia, and India.
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, nicknamed “quad,” was created in 2007 in response to Beijing’s alleged military expansionism in the region.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will arrive in Tokyo for their foreign trip next week.
Blinken and Austin will attend a security dialogue known as “2 + 2” with their Japanese counterparts, Toshimitsu Motegi and Nobuo Kishi, during their Mar.15-17 stay in Tokyo. EFE-EPA