The Saturday evening editions of all national dailies reported extensively on the first summit between President Biden and Prime Minister Suga at the White House on Friday afternoon. The two leaders reportedly discussed how to strengthen bilateral cooperation in addressing such challenges as China’s rise, climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, and the reinforcement of supply chains. According to a post-summit joint statement issued by the two governments, their leaders agreed on the importance of ensuring peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, expressed serious concern regarding the human rights situations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and made a bilateral commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea and the immediate resolution of the abduction issue. The papers took special note of the reference to Taiwan, explaining that this was the first time in half a century for the issue to be addressed in a bilateral statement released by the leaders of the two nations.
President Biden and PM Suga also reportedly agreed to deepen economic and scientific bilateral coordination by increasing investment in 5G networks, building resilient supply chains for semiconductors and other strategic materials, and accelerating research in artificial intelligence and quantum computing. They also reaffirmed their intention to cooperate further toward realizing a decarbonized society by 2050 and combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The two leaders voiced strong condemnation of hate crimes against people of Asian ancestry in America, with the prime minister saying at the joint press conference that his confidence in U.S. democracy was renewed when he heard the President strongly condemning discrimination and violence.