Headline RoundupJanuary 13th, 2023

Prime Minister of Japan Visits White House, Biden Reaffirms Alliance

AllSides Summary

President Joe Biden hosted Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House on Friday. The two leaders reaffirmed the alliance between the United States and Japan and discussed economic collaboration and security issues.

For Context: Kishida’s visit comes a few months after Japan announced a substantial investment in its defense spending— the largest military build up since World War II— to counter growing naval aggression from China. The investment breaks a decades-long policy of pacifism for the island nation. This move was praised by Biden during Kishida’s visit.

Key Quotes: “We’re modernizing our military alliance,” Biden told reporters, “building on Japan’s historic increase in defense spending and new national security strategy.” The president added, “let me be crystal clear: The United States is fully, thoroughly, completely committed to the alliance.” A joint statement from the leaders emphasized the countries economic alliance, stating, “as the two largest democratic economies in the world, we look forward to advancing domestic and global prosperity and upholding a free, fair and rules-based economic order.”

How The Media Covered It: The Japanese Prime Minister’s visit was covered across the spectrum. Some outlets on the right focused on the timing of the visit, which comes as Biden is facing sharp criticism and investigations regarding potential mishandling of classified documents. Across the board, outlets noted China as a threat that was pushing Japan and the U.S. closer together. The New York Times article characterized Japan as “increasingly anxious” regarding China.

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