Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and US President Joe Biden have wrapped up a summit in Washington. They issued a joint statement reaffirming the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
It is the first time leaders from the countries have touched on Taiwan in a statement in over 50 years.
Biden said, "Japan and the United States are two strong democracies in the region. We're committed, we're committed in defending and advancing our shared values, including human rights and the rule of law. We're going to work together to prove that democracies can still compete and win in the 21st century. We can deliver for our people and the face of a rapidly changing world."
Suga said, "The Japan-United States alliance has been a cornerstone of peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world. And it is now becoming more important than ever, due to the current regional situation and the tough security environment. Based on our common understanding and shared vision, we were able to exchange honest opinions about a wide range of issues during today's talks."
It was Biden's first face-to-face meeting with a foreign counterpart since taking office.
The leaders reaffirmed that they will strengthen the alliance in order to counter China, which Biden called the "most serious competitor" to the US.
On Taiwan, they said they encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.
They also shared their serious concerns over the human rights situations in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Suga said he explained his determination to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer, and gained Biden's support.