Wed, 31 May 2023

Washington [US], May 21 (ANI): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel along with President Joe Biden to Tokyo from May 21 to 24, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

Price said that the US president on his first trip to Asia since taking office will meet the Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and attend the Quad Leaders' Summit, while the Secretary will meet with Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and other senior Japanese officials.

"The Secretary and the Foreign Minister will discuss our global response to President Putin's continued brutal war on Ukraine, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's increasingly destabilizing behaviour, and U.S.-Japan cooperation under the new Economic Policy Consultative Committee (EPCC), including on regional economic development," the statement read.

According to the statement, the Secretary will join the President for the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which will tackle 21st-century economic challenges and deliver for the American people and people in the region.

"The Secretary's visit will reaffirm the U.S.-Japan Alliance's central role as the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world," the statement added.

Meanwhile, the US President has already boarded the Air Force 1 on Thursday (local time) afternoon for Seoul to embark on a visit to South Korea and Japan -- a trip that the White House says "comes at a pivotal moment" for his foreign policy agenda.

Shifting focus from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Biden's foreign agenda will occupy a clear focus on Asia, a message that will be clearly heard in Beijing.

Biden begins his journey in Seoul and wraps the visit in Tokyo where he would participate in a second in-person Quad summit with his counterparts from Australia, India and Japan, that includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They last met in September at the White House.

"The message we're trying to send on this trip is a message of an affirmative vision of what the world can look like if the democracies and open societies of the world stand together to shape the rules of the road, to define the security architecture of the region, to reinforce strong, powerful, historic alliances, and we think putting that on display over four days bilaterally with the ROK and Japan, through the Quad, through the Indo-Pacific economic framework, it will send a powerful message. We think that message will be heard everywhere," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Wednesday.

On Tuesday leaders of the QUAD will meet for the second in-person summit. Biden is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with the Indian and Australian leaders on the sidelines of the summit. (ANI)

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