Kishida to meet Biden in Hiroshima on Thursday ahead of G7 summit

by May 16, 2023Featured Article, News

U.S. President Joe Biden will hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday in Hiroshima ahead of the Group of Seven summit, the White House said Monday, ending speculation that he may miss attending the meeting in person due to a looming government default at home.

Biden will depart Washington on Wednesday and arrive in the western Japanese city the following day, making it his second visit to Japan since taking office in 2021. The G7 summit will take place from Friday to Sunday.

Biden and Kishida, who last held a meeting in January in Washington, are expected to affirm the strength of their nations’ security alliance while discussing their response to China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“I am determined to make utmost efforts to lead the Hiroshima summit to success as one that goes down in history,” Kishida said Monday in Tokyo at a meeting of the government and ruling coalition.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said, “By closely working together with the United States, we will strongly demonstrate to the world the strong will of the G-7 to protect the rules-based international order.”

Kishida and Biden are also expected to hold a trilateral meeting involving South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who is invited to the summit as a guest, on the sidelines of the summit to discuss North Korea’s missile development and other security challenges in the region, the top government spokesman said.

Biden’s trip to Hiroshima will also make him the second sitting U.S. president to visit the city that was devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb in the final days of World War II.

Biden last week did not rule out joining the G7 summit online amid the debt ceiling deadlock. He has been struggling to reach a deal with top congressional leaders to head off an unprecedented government default that could occur as soon as June 1.

Following the G7 gathering, Kishida and Biden will travel to Australia to attend a summit of the Quad group on May 24, which also involves India.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been invited to the G7 summit in Hiroshima as guests.