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Biden to Visit Tokyo, Seoul as Kishida Heads to Southeast Asia

Kishida sets off on Friday for an extended visit, aiming to marshal Southeast Asian support to counter the Ukraine crisis, as well as China’s growing assertiveness


Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. Photo: Reuters.

 

US President Joe Biden will visit South Korea and Japan from May 20-24, while Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida has begun a trip to Southeast Asia.

“In Tokyo, President Biden will also meet with the leaders of the Quad grouping of Australia, Japan, India, and the United States,” the White House said in a statement.

Kishida sets off on Friday for an extended visit, aiming to marshal Southeast Asian support to counter the Ukraine crisis as well as China’s growing assertiveness.

As Asia’s sole member of the Group of Seven, Japan hopes to hold talks on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and consolidate responses in Southeast Asia, where only one nation, Singapore, has joined sanctions against Russia, officials said.

Kishida said on Thursday that he could not accept any move anywhere in the world to change the status quo by force.

The Japanese leader also said Tokyo would continue to support Ukraine and step up sanctions on Russia through cooperation with other countries.

Japan is also eager to discuss regional security issues relating to China’s growing assertiveness, while Southeast Asian nations wary of losing access to its economy look to steer clear of a confrontation between the US, a key ally of Japan, and Beijing.

South Korea’s president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who is due to formally take office on May 10, plans to attend the World Economic Forum‘s annual meeting in Davos, in January next year, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

Yoon said he will attend the forum after receiving an invitation from the forum’s chairman Klaus Schwab, according to Yoon’s spokesperson Bae Hyun-jin.

 

  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell

 

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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