tv President Biden Japanese Prime Minister Hold News Conference CSPAN April 17, 2021 6:22am-6:52am EDT
indo-pacific, there are many common challenges, as well as emerging global issues, including covid-19 and climate change. i wish to spend time with you to, again, confirm the close ties between our two countries and thank you again for accepting us. reporter: mr. president -- \[indiscernible] -- >> thank you. thank you. thank you. \[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] \[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] >> later, the two leaders held a news conference.
president biden: good afternoon. the prime minister's brought the sun out. we can do about anything. mr. prime minister, thank you for being here. it's been my pleasure to welcome prime minister suga to the white house. this is our first in-person meeting here. the first head of state i've asked in my administration to come to the white house. thank you for making the long trip to washington. we've already met several times virtually, at a g-7 meeting and a quad leader summit but i greatly appreciate the chance to spend time with you in person, face to face. there's no substitute for face to face discussions. we are still talking covid precautions, being careful, while our commitment to meet in person is indicative of the
importance, the value we both place on this relationship between japan and the united states, this partnership. we had a very productive discussion today. when nations as close as ours get together, we always look for operations and opportunities to do more and today was no exception. so, you'll probably be seeing a lot more of me in the future. today prime minister suga and i affirmed our ironclad support for u.s.-japanese alliance and for our shared security. we committed to working together to take on the challenges from china and on issues like the east china sea, the south china sea, as well as north korea, to ensure a future of a free and open indo-pacific. japan and the island states are two strong democracies in the region. and we're committed, we're committed to 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. so today we're announcing a new competitive and reliance partnership core between japan and the united states that will enhance our ability, enhance our ability to meet the pressing challenges of our time. together meet those challenges. top of our agenda is of course getting the pandemic under control and helping our friends and neighbors throughout the indo-pacific region to recover. earlier this year we together with india and australia launched the landmark quad vaccine partnership, to expand the manufacturing of covid-19 vaccines and assist countries throughout the region with vaccination efforts.
and we agreed to enhance our support for global vaccination efforts through the act accelerator and covid facility. we're also going to do more beyond this pandemic to advance longer term goals for health security, reform of the world health organization, and establishing a new partnership, a new partnership on health security to build better preparedness for the next pandemic. because there will be others. secondly, japan and the united states are both deeply invested in innovation and looking to the future. that includes making sure we invest in and protect the technologies that will maintain and sharpen our competitive edge. and those technologies are governed by shared democratic norms that we both share. norms set by democracies, not by autocracies. so we're going to work together across rage of fields.
-- a range of fields from , promoting secure and reliable 5-g networks to increasing our cooperation on supply chains for critical sectors like semiconductors, to driving joint research in areas like a.i., geonomics, quantum computing and much more. thirdly, our nations are committed to taking aggressive action to meet the threats of climate change. next week i'll be hosting the climate leaders summit which prime minister suga also plans to attend thankfully, to rally key nations of the world to making ambitious climate commitments in the lead up to the glasgow summit later this year. japan and the united states are both committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and we know to do that will require setting and meeting our 2030 goals and we'll work together to advance clean energy
technologies and help nations throughout the indo-pacific region, especially developing countries, develop renewable energies and decarbonize their economies. finally, both prime minister suga and i value the incredible partnership that exists not just between our governments, but between the japanese people and the american people. last month we jointly marked the 10-year anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that cost so many lives in japan. i visited the area shortly after it happened and at our private lunch, the prime minister and i talked about when i was vice president visiting the families in the region. to show support of the united states. we continue to mourn the loss of all those folks and to honor the extraordinary joint effort between japan and the american people, in the wake of that
tragedy, to recover and to rebuild. those personal bonds of friendship and connection, they're the ones that are going to keep this alliance strong and vibrant for decades to come. and i'm especially proud that today we agreed to resume what we call the mansfield fellowship program, to promote people-to-people connections between our countries. before mike mansfield, who was a beloved ambassador to japan, became ambassador, he was a mentor of mine when i came to the senate, after my wife and daughter were killed. and he helped me along in ways i can't even explain. in the united states senate. and i'm proud, i'm proud that this legacy continues to be honored as part of the close, enduring partnership between our nations. yoshi, i know how proud you are of the people of japan, you've
got a japanese boy coming over here and guess what, he won the masters. he won the masters. he won the green jacket. matsuyama was the first japanese player to take home that green jacket at the masters tournament this week. so let me say congratulations to japan as well on that feat. mr. prime minister, thank you for making the trip. i look forward to all that japan and the united states will accomplish together in the coming years. it was a great honor having you as the first head of state in my administration. the floor is yours. translator: prime minister suga: it is truly a pleasure to be here in person visiting washington, d.c. i would like to thank president biden and vice president harris
who have welcomed me so warmly. i also wish to extend my gratitude to the members of the u.s. government who have worked to prepare for this occasion. the united states is japan's best friend. japan and the u.s. are allies that share universal values such as freedom, democracy and human rights. our alliance has served its role as the foundation of peace and stability for the indo-pacific region and the world. in light of the current regional situation and the severe security environment, the importance of our alliance has reached new heights. based on such common recognition at today's senate, we engaged in
far-reaching and candid exchange of views on each other's political principles, challenges faced in each of our nations, our common vision and other matters. president biden and i reaffirmed the recognitions confirmed at the japan-u.s. two-plus-two held last month and agreed to engage in initiatives for the region based upon such recognitions. we also discussed the free and open indo-pacific. we agreed that while japan and the u.s. will take the lead to promote the vision through concrete effort, we'll also cooperate with other countries and regions, including the asian, australian and india.
we also had serious talks on china's influence over the peace and prosperity of the indo-pacific and the world at large. we agreed to oppose any attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion in the east and south china seas, and intimidation of others in the region. at the same time we agreed on the necessity for each of us to engage in frank dialogue with china and in so doing to pursue stability of international relations while upholding universal values. on north korea, we confirmed our commitment to the cvid of all
weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges and agreed to demand to north korea to fulfill its obligations under security council resolutions. on the issue of abduction, we reaffirmed that it is a grave human rights issue and that our two countries will work together to seek immediate resolution by north korea. and countering -- encountering north korea and for the peace and prosperity of the indo-pacific, both of us recognize that trilateral corporation, including the r.o.k., has never been as important as today and agreed to promote such collaboration.
noting that the regional security environment has become increasingly severe, the deterrence and response capabilities of our alliance must be strengthened. i conveyed my resolve to reinforce japan's defense capabilities while president biden again demonstrated america's commitment to the defense of japan, including the application of article 5 of the japan-u.s. treaty of mutual cooperation and security for the island. we also agreed to accelerate the review under way between our two countries on the specific needs to strengthen our alliance. at the same time from the perspective of mitigating the impact on local communities, including first and foremost okinawa, we agreed to promote realignment of the u.s. forces in japan, including the relocation of air station, which
is the only solution to avoid its permanent use. in responding to the unprecedented crisis faced by the international community such as covid-19 and climate change, japan and the u.s. are mutually indispensable partners. president biden and i share the recognition that our two nations bear significant responsibilities to lead multilateral initiatives towards the resolution of such issues. in this context, we agreed to respect international order based upon multilateralism and the rule of law while exercising joint leadership to build back better our global community. based on such outcome of our meeting today, we are releasing the japan-u.s. joint leaders
statement, global partnership for a new era, which will serve as the guiding post for our alliance in the times ahead, which strongly demonstrates our solidarity towards the realization of a free and open indo-pacific. from the perspectives of our two nations' leading efforts to build back better, president biden and i agreed on the japan-u.s. core partnership and confirmed to promote cooperation in common priority areas including promotion of competitiveness and innovation in science and technology, covid-19 countermeasures, green growth and climate change.
on competitiveness and innovation, under the recognition that technology and new economies in particular will bring about social transformation and huge economic opportunities, we have agreed that japan and the u.s. will work together on the promotion of r&d on areas, including distill areas and others. with regarding the response to covid-19 from short-term responses to the longer-term efforts, including the preparations for future similar incidents, we will work on the promotion of multilayered cooperation regarding the overall supply of vaccines and the reinforcement of japan and u.s. public and private cooperation in the area of global health. we confirmed that cooperations between our governments will continue. in order to ensure equitable access to vaccines, including
access by developing countries, multilateral and regional cooperations will be promoted. on the matter of climate change, at the upcoming climate summit to be hosted by the u.s. next week, or beyond, we confirmed that the japan and the u.s. will lead the global decarbonization in order to further strengthen cooperation in areas such as the implementation of the paris agreement, clean technologies or green global transmission of developing countries, i agreed with president biden to launch climate partnership on ambition decarbonization and clean energy. under these initiatives, i wish to give impetus to concrete and
comprehensive japan-u.s. cooperations. i discussed the increase of discrimination or violences against asian people across the u.s. with president biden. and agreed that discrimination by race cannot be permitted in any society. we agreed on this regard. president biden's comment that discrimination and violence cannot be allowed and that he firmly opposes was extremely encouraging for me and i have renewed my confidence in american democracy once again. i told the president about my determination to realize the tokyo olympic and paraolympic games this summer as a symbol of the global unity. president biden once again
expressed his support for this determination. japan is listening to and learning from w.h.o. and experts that are doing everything possible to contain infection and to realize safe and secure games from scientific and objective perspectives. we will do our utmost in our preparation. freedom, democracy, human rights, rule of law, as we firmly defend and uphold these universal values that japan and the u.s. share, i look forward to the actual implementation of the outcomes of today's significant meeting and to realize a free and open indo-pacific by further collaboration and deeper cooperation with joe. i once again express my
heartfelt gratitude for the kind invitation. thank you. president biden: now we'll each take a few questions. i'll begin by recognizing the associated press. you have the first question. reporter: thank you, mr. president. and thank you, mr. prime minister. mr. president, in your last press conference you said successful presidents prioritize and you were focusing an agenda on one thing at a time. i'd like to ask you, what would you say to many of americans who voted for you about the legislative progress on gun control and police reform having to wait while you pursue infrastructure? given that we continue to see these incidents of mass shootings, including police-involved shootings, like the most recent one we saw in chicago.
do you feel any need to reprioritize your agenda? president biden: i've never not prioritized this. no one has worked harder to deal with the violence used by individuals using weapons than i have. i'm the only one to have passed an assault weapon ban. i'm the only one who have bans on assault weapons, clips of more than 10 bullets. immediately upon us coming into office, the attorney general, i asked him to put together the things i could do by executive order, including dealing with new guns that can be made, you can buy in pieces and put together. and other initiatives. i strongly support, i strongly support the universal background checks, which i continue to push. congress has to step up and act. the senate has to act. and i strongly support and continue and never stopped supporting the ban on assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 bullets. it doesn't mean i can't also be working at the same time on the economy and on covid.
but it's not a question of my being able to set the agenda in the senate as to what they will move to first. and so i continue and i strongly, strongly urge my republican friends in the congress who even refuse to bring up the house-passed bill to bring it up now. this has to end. it's a national embarrassment. it is a national embarrassment what's going on. it's not only these mass shootings that are occurring, every sickle -- single day, every single day there's a mass shooting in this -- in the united states. if you count all those who are killed out on the streets of our cities and our rural areas. it's a national embarrassment and must come to an end. one last thing. the folks who own weapons, the folks who own guns, they support universal background checks. majority of them think we should not be selling assault weapons. who in god's name needs a weapon
that can hold 100 rounds? or 40 rounds? or 20 rounds? it's just wrong. and i'm not going to give up until it's done. do you have a question you want to offer? not a question, recognize someone, mr. prime minister? reporter: thank you very much. at the summit, i believe that the china policy was one of the central agenda items. my question is on china policy, both governments consider that peace and stability of taiwan is of great importance and that had been agreement between the two countries. what kind of exchange of views were conducted on this matter at today's meeting? in order to deter contingency in the straits, what can japan do
and what can japan do when actually contingency occurs in the taiwan straits? did the prime minister explain to president biden what japan can do under such circumstances? and also, were there discussions on the human rights issues, grave concern is shared by the two countries, but japan is the only g-7 country that has not imposed sanctions on china. were you able to gain president biden's understanding towards such position? translator: prime miniister suga: as we engaged in exchange of views over the recent situation, we also discussed the circumstances in taiwan and uighur autonomous region as well. i refrain from mentioning details since it pertains to diplomatic exchanges but there's already an agreed recognition over the importance of peace and
stability of the taiwan strait between japan and the united states, which was reaffirmed on this occasion. i also explained japan's position and initiatives regarding the situation in uighur autonomous region to the president who i think understood my points. president biden: next question goes to trevor, reuters. reporter: thank you. mr. president, it's been a while since we've heard be a update from you on -- an update from you on how the talks are going with iran. how are they going and do you regard their decision to enrich to 60% as a step backwards, as a sign that they aren't serious about those negotiations? and for the prime minister, just a question on whether it's irresponsible to move forward
with the olympics when you have public health experts telling you that japan is not ready to do so? thank you. president biden: i'm going respond to the iran question. we do not support and do not think it's at all helpful that iran saying it's going to move to enrich to 60%. it is contrary to the agreement. we are, though, nonetheless, pleased that iran continued to agree to engage in discussions in direct discussions with us, and with our partners on how we move forward and what is needed to allow us to move back into the jopca so we're part of it again, that we should have never gotten out of, in my view. without us making concessions that we're just not willing to make. so discussions are under way. i think it's premature to make a judgment as to what the outcome
will be, but we're still talking. prime minister suga: if i may. invite the reporter. reporter: i have a question regarding the olympics and paraolympics plan for this summer. you have gotten support from president biden. did the president mention about the concrete promise to send immigrant athletes or any positive comments, if it can tell us about the exchanges and the conversations during the meeting about the covid-19 vaccines or about climate change, you have discussed these aspects about the schedule of providing the vaccine or by 2030 the reduction target of the gases, any numerical targets or actions were discussed, please?
prime minister suga: as was mentioned at the beginning, i expressed in my determination to realize the tokyo olympics and the paraolympic games as a symbol of global unity this summer. and president biden once again expressed his support. japan will continue careful and full preparation in order to realize the tokyo games this summer, in order to ensure equitable access to vaccines for covid-19. we also affirmed that japan and the u.s. will continue our cooperation. regarding the climate change, this is a matter that both president biden and i emphasized. so during the talk today, we have confirmed to strengthen
bilateral cooperation and collaboration in the area of climate change and have agreed to launch the japan-u.s. climate partnership, which is extremely meaningful and significant. president biden: thank you all very much. thank you, mr. prime minister. look forward to having you back. thank you again, everyone. \[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] \[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats until the president and the prime minister and delegations have departed.