White House mum on whether Biden plans to attend Tokyo Olympics

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A senior U.S. official said that technology leader Japan would also announce a "very substantial commitment" of $2 billion in partnership with the United States "to work on 5G and next steps beyond".

Before that, the positive rates were generally lower, possibly because of the US perception about an economic threat Japan posed, as well as a series of disputes over America's military presence in the country, mostly in Okinawa Prefecture.

But the joint statement on Taiwan is likely to fall short of US expectations, as Japan struggles to balance its deep economic ties with China and navigate frosty relations with fellow USA ally South Korea. "We agreed to oppose any attempt to change the status quo by force or coercion in the East and the South China Seas and intimidation of others in the region", he added.

Suga said he was grateful for the meeting and reaffirmed the "new and tight bond" between Japan and the United States.

Last month, in a joint statement issued after the two-plus-two meeting of foreign affairs and defense ministers in Tokyo, the two sides had only "underscored the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait".

It's unclear how prominent China's human rights record was in the two leaders' talks.

"China has no objection to the development of normal bilateral relations between Japan and the United States, but such relations should help enhance mutual understanding and trust among regional countries and contribute to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and should not target or harm the interests of third parties", Zhao said. "There was a frank exchange of views regarding Taiwan".

The two leaders, both just months in office, announced a partnership aimed at improving coordination on the pandemic response and future global health challenges. They affirmed cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines and climate change.

"I don't have any plans to announce as it relates to travel or any global travel", White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told a regular press conference, which was held prior to the talks between Biden and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.


But these topics paled beside the need to take a common stand on China.

"The political tensions are such that we believe it actually impedes all of our abilities to be effective in Northeast Asia, and I think the president will want to discuss this in some detail" with Suga, the official said. "And I'm confident that this is the first time there has been a summit in that time in which trade was not at the top of the agenda". Biden greeted his guest with hamburgers, but Suga later told the traveling press that he ended up not touching his because the two leaders were busy discussing their families and life experiences.

They then moved to a small group meeting that lasted 55 minutes.

Speaking through a translator, Suga expressed his honest gratitude for inviting him as the first foreign guest in Washington despite the COVID-19 pandemic since the inauguration of the Biden administration. It left them so engrossed "we ended up not even touching our hamburger steak prepared for us", Suga said.

"The president emphasizes bipartisanship - and I personally think he's honest - but you don't see it on display with the infrastructure bill and domestic policy", Green said.

"For the Biden administration, a strong summit with Prime Minister Suga shows his bona fides to the public, to the Congress - where there is very strong support for working with allies", he said.

"This is a time like no other in which the Japan-US alliance needs to be strong", Suga said.

Suga said in March that he plans to invite Biden to the Olympics, due to open on July 23 following a one-year postponement due to the spread of COVID-19. The Biden administration is still reviewing that policy and has not yet made clear whether it will keep the bans in place. The White House announced on Thursday that Biden plans to meet with South Korea President Moon Jae-in in Washington, D.C., in the second half of May.

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