President Biden met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida when he arrived Thursday in Hiroshima, Japan, ahead of the Group of Seven (G-7) summit with other world leaders.
“The bottom line, Mr. Prime Minister, is that when our countries stand together, we stand stronger. And I believe the whole world is safer when we do,” Biden said to start the meeting.
Kishida agreed, noting the nations’ cooperation “in all areas.”
“We very much welcome that the cooperation has evolved by leaps and bounds,” he said at the top of the meeting at the Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima.
Before that, Biden greeted about 400 American and Japanese troops at an airport hangar at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. He then took a short trip to Hiroshima, and upon arriving in the hotel’s ballroom, he and Kishida shook hands and posed for a photograph.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan flanked Biden during the meeting, and Kishida spoke first, welcoming the president to his hometown.
Biden and Kishida spoke about bolstering economic cooperation, promoting clean and secure energy, and establishing diverse and resilient critical minerals supply chains, according to a readout from the White House.
They discussed cooperation on emerging technology, through corporate and academic partnerships “in areas like quantum computing and semiconductors,” the White House said. Purdue University in Indiana and the University of Chicago were singled out for their involvement.
Kishida added the U.S. company Micron is working on research, development and manufacturing in Hiroshima, highlighting Japan-U.S. semiconductor cooperation.
In talking about challenges such as the war in Ukraine, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and coercive behavior from China, Biden said the two countries face “one of the most complex environments in recent history — security environments.”
Biden hosted Kishida in January at the White House for a state visit.
Kishida has his family roots in Hiroshima, a name engraved in history because the U.S. dropped a bomb on the Japanese city on Aug. 6, 1945. The bombing is estimated to have killed between 70,000 and 125,000 civilians.
There have been some calls in Japan — and some speculation in the U.S. — that Biden could even apologize for the bombing of Hiroshima. But White House officials have been noncommittal on the topic.
Source: The Hill