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Kishida confident about strengthening personal bonds with President Biden  

Yomiuri wrote on Sunday that Prime Minister Kishida is confident that he was able to win the trust of President Biden during the virtual summit, as Kishida’s detailed briefing on his signature “new form of capitalism” initiative apparently struck a chord with the U.S. leader. In response, the President reportedly said: “I felt like you were reading my campaign pledges…. I’d like to exchange opinions on the subject in person in the future.”  

 

Sunday’s Sankei said Japan was pleased with the pronounced political chemistry between the two leaders on such issues as a “new form of capitalism” and North Korea’s abductions of Japanese citizens, quoting President Biden as indicating the blue ribbon badge symbolizing the abductees that the premier was wearing on his lapel during the meeting by saying: “Although I’m not wearing it right now, my heart is with you. I strongly support Japan’s response to the abduction issue.” As the two leaders engaged in lively discussions on a range of topics, the meeting reportedly ran 20 minutes longer than scheduled. According to the daily, a source close to the prime minister praised Kishida for successfully building a relationship of trust with the President by saying: “The premier scored 150 out of 100.”     

 

Sankei wrote on Saturday that Kishida will continue to seek an in-person meeting with President Biden as soon as possible in the belief that such a session would help cement his diplomatic foundation to deal with China and North Korea and that the prolonged lack of “face-to-face” talks between the two leaders may send the wrong signal to the two troubling neighbors. The paper added, however, that an in-person summit with the Japanese premier may remain a low priority for the Biden administration, which is preoccupied with dealing with the domestic agenda and Ukraine. 

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