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The Upcoming Biden-japan Summit is Overshadowed by Challenging Elections

Biden, US President (Credits: Reuters)

The official visit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to announce plans to strengthen military ties and collaborate on space exploration. However, underlying this event are concerns about potential leadership changes in both countries and how they could impact their alliance.

In Japan, there’s uncertainty about the impact of a possible return of Donald Trump to the White House on the longstanding alliance with the U.S. Kishida’s leadership is also under scrutiny due to a fundraising scandal and economic challenges, raising questions about his tenure and potential snap elections.

Joe Biden (Credits: The White House)

Despite these uncertainties, Biden and Kishida are set to announce massive upgrades in military cooperation and security partnerships, aiming to effectively counter China’s influence in Asia. However, the political instability in both nations raises doubts about the sustainability of these initiatives.

Ambassador Rahm Emanuel cautioned that neglecting efforts like the U.S.-Japan-South Korea dialogue could lead to their deterioration over time. There’s speculation about Kishida’s successor, but it’s unlikely to result in a drastic shift in U.S.-Japan relations.

Officially, Japan affirms that its ties with the U.S. will remain strong regardless of leadership changes in either country. However, concerns persist about Trump’s unpredictable diplomacy style, particularly regarding defense spending burden-sharing among allies.

President Joe Biden (Credits: The Hill)

While Japan acknowledges potential challenges with a Trump presidency, there’s recognition that the Biden administration has primarily continued Trump’s Asia policies. Japan’s commitment to boosting defense spending reassures its security commitments despite regional challenges from North Korea, China, and Russia.

The upcoming meeting and Kishida’s address to Congress are vast, with opportunities to showcase Japan’s security commitments and seek political support domestically. However, Kishida’s domestic challenges may limit the impact of these efforts, highlighting the complex dynamics surrounding this high-profile visit.

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