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Biden's Asia policy

Suga and Biden to note Taiwan in summit joint statement: US official

Leaders will also discuss Japan-South Korea relations

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Joe Biden. (Source photos by Reuters) 

WASHINGTON -- The issue of Taiwan will be mentioned in a joint statement after the U.S.-Japan summit on Friday, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

The issue of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait will come up in the official statement and in the discussions between U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in Washington.

The importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait was previously mentioned in the joint statement issued by the two countries' defense and foreign ministers on March 16.

"I expect that you will see both a formal statement and consultations on these matters," the official said. "And I think this is consistent with and in line with the kinds of dialogues and discussions that you've seen between the United States and Japan in recent times."

"I do want to underscore that neither country is seeking to raise tensions or to provoke China" by including Taiwan on the statement, the official said. "But at the same time, we're trying to send a clear signal that some of the steps that China is taking -- for instance, its... fighters and bombers, flying them into Taiwan's airspace... is antithetical to the mission of maintaining peace and stability."

The official said that the U.S. also recognized the deep economic and commercial ties between Japan and China, adding, "Prime Minister Suga wants to walk a careful course, and we respect that."

The summit is also expected to touch on the issue of chilly relations between Japan and South Korea, two close U.S. allies, the official said.

"It is concerning to us, even to the point of being painful for us, to see relations between Japan and South Korea fall to the current level. The political tensions are such that we believe it actually impedes all of our abilities to be effective in Northeast Asia," the official said.

"We have an interest in seeing relations improved between these two great democracies."

The leaders are also expected to discuss other issues such as 5G networks, and North Korea's past abduction of Japanese citizens abductees.

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