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Joe Biden, Japan's Fumio Kashida meet on defense, economic goals

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U.S. President Joe Biden held a virtual meeting Friday with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kashida. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/f5499d9c5d12e1edd274774fd5ee6ff9/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S. President Joe Biden held a virtual meeting Friday with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kashida. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. President Joe Biden held a virtual meeting Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, confirming the U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan, the White House said.

In an 80-minute video conference, the two leaders pledged to work closely together to deter Russian aggression against Ukraine.

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Biden and Kishida, who took office last fall, resolved to push back against China's attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China sea.

The Chinese government accused the U.S. military on Thursday of sending a warship illegally into the South China Sea. The Pentagon said the crossing broke no law. Vietnam, China and Taiwan all claim sovereignty over the waterway.

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Biden and Kishida also condemned the recent ballistic missile tests by North Korea, which the White House said are in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Japan and the White House agreed to launch talks on economic and environmental issues, with Biden supporting the idea of holding a Quad summit with India and Australia in Japan in the next few months, Kishida told reporters in Japan after the meeting.

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According to a White House statement, Biden commended Kishida's strong commitment to the U.S.-Japan alliance, including his determination to fundamentally strengthen Japan's defense capabilities.

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Biden welcomed the prime minister's efforts to reinforce deterrence against common threats and the intent to revise Japan's national Security Strategy.

Biden also welcomed the prime minister's efforts to reinforce deterrence against common threats and the intent to revise Japan's national Security Strategy, saying it is important to increase defense spending over time.

Both leaders affirmed the vital need to strengthen cybersecurity.

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Biden praised Japan and Australia's signing of the Reciprocal Access Agreement that the White House said will enable closer trilateral defense cooperation.

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