Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on January 21st held a video summit, pledging that the U.S. and Japan would work together to confront China’s ambitions. Both countries issued a joint statement recognizing the importance of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and calling on China to reduce nuclear risks and increase transparency about its nuclear stocks. 

According to the statements released by the White House, the U.S. and Japanese leaders believe that as major powers in the Indo-Pacific region, the U.S. and Japan are united in their common goals to maintain and strengthen their commitment to the region.

Biden affirmed that Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty applies to the Diaoyu Islands and that the United States is firmly committed to using the full range of its capabilities to defend Japan.

In the video conference, both Biden and Kishida stress the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, opposing China’s attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and show concerns about China’s actions in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

Additionally, the statement emphasizes the cooperation between Japan and the United States towards the realization of a “nuclear-weapon-free world” advocated by Kishida.

In the statement, Japan and the United States said that the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, makes it possible to significantly reduce nuclear weapons and is an indispensable basis for future nuclear disarmament. It called on all signatories to produce meaningful results at the NPT Review Conference, which is expected to be held in August. 

Japan welcomed the joint statement issued this month by the heads of the five major nuclear powers, the U.S., China, Russia, Britain and France, advocating the avoidance of nuclear war.

In particular, the statement notes the increase in China’s nuclear capabilities and will ask China to reduce nuclear risks, enhance transparency and contribute to the advancement of nuclear disarmament.

Few days prior, on January 18th, Japan Ambassador to the U.S. Koji Tomita said at the Brookings Institution that Japan and the U.S. are coordinating closely on how to prepare for emergencies in the Taiwan Strait against increasingly aggressive military activities of China.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Raymond Greene also said both countries are working closely on how to address challenges posed by China to the Indo-Pacific region.

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