President Joe Biden welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to the White House Friday for his first visit from a foreign leader since taking office.
READ MORE: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has become the first foreign leader to hold face-to-face talks with U.S. President Joe Biden since the latter assumed office, meeting at the White House for discussions that are expected to focus heavily on countering China.
Biden told reporters before heading into the talks at the White House that he was “really pleased to welcome such a close ally and good partner” for the one-day summit.
Suga said he was grateful for the meeting and reaffirmed the “new and tight bond” between Japan and the United States.
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.
Suga will be the first foreign leader to visit the White House since Biden took office.
The meeting underscores the importance of the alliance between the two countries, particularly as their rival, China, grows in strength and aggressiveness.