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U.S.-Japan joint statement likely to reconfirm U.S. defense commitment to Senkakus 

Yomiuri claimed that President Biden and Prime Minister Suga are expected to issue a joint statement at their summit meeting in Washington in early April to keep China’s hegemonic military and diplomatic conduct in check. The envisaged document is likely to say that the Senkakus fall under the scope of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty and mention the importance of “peace and stability” in the Taiwan Strait. According to the paper, the statement will also emphasize stronger bilateral coordination to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific, achieve North Korea’s denuclearization, and resolve the abduction issue. The daily said the statement will highlight the U.S. commitment to “extended deterrence” and mutual efforts to create “resilient and multilateral supply chains” for pharmaceuticals, rare earths, and high-tech products. A working group co-led by National Security Advisor Sullivan and National Security Secretariat Secretary General Kitamura will reportedly be launched to discuss how to build such supply chains. North Korea’s latest missile launches are also expected to be taken up during the in-person summit. Suga told journalists yesterday: “I would like to hold robust discussions [with President Biden] on how to deal with North Korea, including the latest missile firings. I would like to ensure coordination” with the U.S.      

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