Had serious talks about Chinas influence in Indo-Pacific: Japan PM

Biden to use meeting with Japan's prime minister to send 'clear signal' to China

Biden-Suga Meetings At White House Set To Focus On China

Watch the news conference it in the player above.

Biden is scheduled to hold his first face-to-face talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the second half of next month.

That meeting is seen as reflecting Biden's emphasis on strengthening alliances to deal with a more assertive China and other global challenges. "Our commitment to meet in person is indicative of the importance, the value we both place on this relationship between Japan and the United States, this partnership".

The president is determined to successfully pull off the foreign policy initiative that his former boss, President Obama, could not - to engineer a "pivot" from the Middle East, where the US has been bogged down militarily for two decades, to pay more attention to the vital Indo-Pacific region.

Suga made a break from past Japanese leaders by openly commenting on China, saying he and Biden held "serious talks on China's influence over the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific".

Biden, who took office in January, has focused on reviving the alliance, as well as U.S. involvement in multilateral institutions, which were often criticized or shunned by former U.S. President Donald Trump. An honour guard greeted his arrival at the White House. "In light of the current regional situation and the severe security environment, the importance of our alliance has reached new heights", Suga told reporters at a White House news conference with Biden. "Innocent citizens must not be exposed to any such violence", he said. Japan is expected to announce an investment in 5G cellular networks, boosting alternatives to China's network, as part of that supply chain cooperation. And both countries are expected in coming days to make deeper commitments to cutting climate-wrecking fossil fuel emissions, in line with Biden's climate summit with 40 world leaders next week.

Psaki said the White House understands "the careful considerations" the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee are weighing as they prepare for the global sporting event.

China, which claims the self-governed island of Taiwan as its territory, tested USA and Taiwanese resolve weeks into the Biden administration by sending fighter jets and bombers near Taiwan.

"If the statement had gone further, for example, if it had gone back to the 1969 Nixon-Sato Joint Statement, stating that 'the maintenance of peace and security in the Taiwan area was also a most important factor for the security of Japan, ' that goes a little bit further and China might be even more upset".

Ahead of Suga's visit to the US, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned his Japanese counterpart that Tokyo should "not get involved in the so-called confrontation between major countries", according to a Chinese government statement. The islets, known as Diaoyu in China, are administered by Japan but also claimed by China, which has frequently sent vessels into nearby waters.

"We agreed that while Japan and the United States will take the lead to promote the vision through concrete efforts".

Japan considers China's growing military activity as well as its broad territorial claims to be a security threat.

Japan recently joined the USA and other countries in calling out Beijing's human rights abuses and incursions into disputed areas of the East and South China Seas, seen as a departure from a longstanding trade and economics-centered approach.

Beijing claims nearly all of the 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory.

US ships regularly conduct so-called freedom of navigation operations, sailing into worldwide waters that China claims as its own.

China could see this as another blow. After initially praising Xi, Trump later took on China head-on and solo, with tariffs and insults, while building a golf-buddy relationship with Suga's predecessor, Abe.

"As you know, Mr Prime Minister, you and I met just about a month ago during the Quad summit which was a meeting with the United States with our allies Japan, with Australia and with India where we had extensive conversations about the collaborations and the friendship around some of the biggest challenges facing our world", Harris said.

Tokyo since Abe's time has worked to stabilize relations with Beijing and not joined Washington in sanctions over rights concerns in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

"Neither country is seeking to raise tensions or to provoke China", the official said.

US, Japan Show United Front On China In Biden's First Summit