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Prime Minister Suga, President Biden to hold summit on April 16

All networks reported at noon on an announcement by the GOJ that a summit between Prime Minister Suga and President Biden will be held on April 16 in Washington. Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato reportedly said: “Prime Minister Suga will be the first foreign leader to hold an in-person meeting with President Biden. This shows that the U.S. attaches a great deal of importance to Japan and is extremely significant in externally demonstrating the unity of the U.S.-Japan alliance and U.S. commitment to the Indo-Pacific region. We also believe that it will be a good opportunity for the two leaders to build a personal relationship of trust.” In addition, Kato reportedly said that the two leaders are expected to confirm cooperation toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific and on such issues as COVID-19, climate change, China, and North Korea. Meanwhile, in relation to the fact that the summit was originally scheduled for April 9, Kato reportedly explained that although the two governments were trying to arrange the summit in early April, they made a final decision to hold it on April 16 in view of the preparation needed to make Suga’s visit to the U.S. a success. According to NTV, a GOJ source said that the postponement was due to Washington’s desire to take every possible precautionary measure against COVID-19.

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