Japan’s Kishida reaffirms alliance with US in first talks as PM

Tokyo, Oct 5 (EFE).- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and United States President Joe Biden reaffirmed Tuesday the strength of their alliance and agreed to meet soon, in what marked the first diplomatic contact since the Japanese leader took office.

Both heads of government held a telephone conversation of about 20 minutes in which they recalled the commitment of both countries to protect their interests in the Indo-Pacific region, where China has increased its activities, Kishida told journalists from his office.

Kishida said Biden congratulated him on his appointment.

“I am glad someone who has experience in diplomacy has assumed the position of prime minister. I hope to see you soon,” the US president said, according to Kishida’s statements to Japanese news agency Jiji.

The US president referred to Kishida’s years as foreign minister (2012-2017), the longest in postwar Japan, which earned him international recognition.

The now Japanese prime minister described his first conversation with a foreign president, and in particular with the US, as “an important step to further improve the alliance between Japan and the US,” public television channel NHK reported.

Other topics covered during the call included North Korea, which has recently conducted several missile tests; the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

Both leaders showed complicity by agreeing to protect each other and expressed interest in meeting in person at an early date.

Kishida was sworn in as prime minister on the eve of his victory in the ruling party’s primary last week. He succeeded Yoshihide Suga after just over a year in office and after he decided not to run for re-election due to his popularity crisis, resulting from his management of the pandemic.

The new 64-year-old Japanese prime minister, the 100th in the history of modern Japan, will have as top priorities keeping Covid-19 at bay and mitigating its economic impact, and will have less than a month to win the Japanese people’s support before general elections scheduled for Oct. 31. EFE


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