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U.S., Japanese leaders to discuss Taiwan at summit 

Mainichi projected in a front-page article that President Biden and Prime Minister Suga are likely to discuss the situation in the Taiwan Strait when they hold talks in Washington on Friday and that the matter will probably be taken up in a joint statement to be released after the meeting. This will be the first time in more than four decades for the Taiwan Strait to be mentioned in a document released under the names of the leaders of the U.S. and Japan. As this is bound to trigger a strong reaction from China, the two governments are reportedly being extremely careful in drafting the language. In the joint statement issued on the margins of the 2+2 session held in Tokyo in March, the U.S. and Japanese foreign and defense ministers stressed the “importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”     

 

The daily added in a separate piece that Washington is hoping that the summit will give fresh impetus to bilateral consultations with Tokyo on mutual defense coordination during a Taiwan contingency, with the ultimate goal of drafting a joint military operation plan. 

 

In a related development, National Security Secretariat Secretary General Kitamura reportedly spoke by phone with National Security Advisor Sullivan yesterday to finalize the agenda for the summit, which is expected to include the free and open Indo-Pacific initiative, China’s maritime advancement, and North Korea’s denuclearization. The two senior officials reportedly agreed that the meeting will be a great opportunity to extol the strength of the bilateral alliance.    

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