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Japan welcomes launch of Biden administration 

All national dailies reported extensively on the launch on Thursday of the Biden administration. Nikkei focused on President Biden’s call for unity among the American people in his inauguration speech and wrote that although the President expressed his willingness to restore U.S. leadership in the international community, he may face a rough road ahead because China has increased its influence and the United States has fallen behind in efforts to achieve a carbon-free society over the past four years under President Trump. The paper wrote that Prime Minister Suga is planning to propose working with the United States to realize a carbon-free society by launching cabinet-level talks on the matter. The daily speculated that the Suga administration believes that decarbonization will be a key issue in future cooperation with the United States because both President Biden and Prime Minister Suga are aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. 

 

Nikkei speculated that Japan will pay close attention to the Biden administration’s strategy toward China based on the view that there will be no major change in Washington’s tough stance on Beijing, adding that Japan is hoping the United States will continue to pursue a free and open Indo-Pacific. 

 

Yomiuri wrote that the GOJ welcomed President Biden’s pledge to attach importance to alliance relations and international cooperation, speculating that Suga is making arrangements to hold a teleconference with the President in the near future. The paper argued that reconstructing America’s trade strategy toward China will be the biggest challenge for the Biden administration, speculating that although the new administration is planning to maintain a tough stance, it is also considering applying pressure on Beijing through international cooperation. The daily wrote that although Japan is hoping the United States will return to the TPP, this appears unlikely to happen anytime soon due to strong opposition from labor unions and others. 

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