The US and Japan discuss Taiwan during Vice President Harris’ Tokyo visit

The US and Japan discuss Taiwan during Vice President Harris’ Tokyo visit
Kamala Harris, Vice President of the U.S. (L) and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) pose for photographers prior to the Japan-USA bilateral meeting at Akasaka Palace State Guest House in Tokyo, Japan on September 26, 2022 David Mareuil/Pool via REUTERS

Following Japan’s surrender after World War II, the US and Japan developed a strong relationship and have become allies. And yesterday, US Vice President Kamala Harris visited Tokyo and spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Akasaka Palace. She was leading a US delegation for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s state funeral and plans to visit South Korea while she’s in the region. Her visit comes just a few days after US President Biden’s pledge to defend Taiwan if China invades the island.

During their meeting, the two talked about their concerns over China’s military activity in the Taiwan Strait. Vice President Harris also confirmed the US’ “ironclad commitment to Japan’s defense." The two countries condemned North Korea’s recent missile launch, and Harris also praised former Prime Minister Abe as a champion of the US-Japan Alliance and a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Key comments:

“As I told Prime Minister Kishida, the U.S.-Japan Alliance is as strong as it’s ever been. We are committed to strengthening it further, as it is critical to the prosperity and security of the American people," Harris tweeted.

“They discussed the People’s Republic of China’s recent aggressive and irresponsible provocations in the Taiwan Strait, and reaffirmed the importance of preserving peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," the White House said in a statement.

“I feel it is my duty to carry on [Abe’s] aspirations and expand on his diplomatic legacy and thereby strengthening and further advancing the bilateral relations," Kishida was quoted by a translator as saying.