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Biden to host Japanese PM Kishida next week for official visit as allies seek to counter China

By Sam Fossum and Michael Williams, CNN

Washington (CNN) — President Joe Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio at the White House next week for an official visit to the United States, which will include a joint news conference and a state dinner.

Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden will welcome Kishida and his wife, Kishida Yuko, to Washington on April 8 for a meeting. The news conference will take place April 10, followed by the state dinner.

The visit and state dinner – the fifth Biden has hosted as president – emphasize the importance of the alliance between the United States and Japan, as both countries seek to counterbalance China’s influence.

“The visit will underscore the enduring strength of our Alliance, the unwavering US commitment to Japan, and Japan’s increasing global leadership role,” read a media advisory from the White House.

“President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida will discuss efforts to strengthen our political, security, economic, and people-to-people ties so that our Alliance is postured to address evolving challenges and advance our shared vision for a free, open, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region and world.”

It also comes as the federal government reviews the economic and political implications of Japan-based Nippon Steel’s acquisition of US Steel in a $14.1 billion deal.

The sale has drawn bipartisan criticism. US Steel was once the most powerful company in the world and a symbol of America’s status as an industrial powerhouse.

Biden said in a statement last month it was “vital” the company remains American-owned and operated.

“It is important that we maintain strong American steel companies powered by American steel workers. I told our steel workers I have their backs, and I meant it,” Biden said in the March statement. “US Steel has been an iconic American steel company for more than a century, and it is vital for it to remain an American steel company that is domestically owned and operated.”

Biden and Kishida last met in-person during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco in November. They had also met earlier in 2023 during a trilateral summit at the Camp David presidential retreat between Biden, Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

Biden has visited Japan twice during his presidency. Tokyo was a stop on Biden’s May 2022 tour of Asia. He visited Hiroshima on the eve of a G7 summit a year later.

CNN’s Chris Isidore contributed to this report.

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