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Remarks by the Vice President Prior to a Meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan in Tokyo, Japan

September 26, 2022

PRIME MINISTER KISHIDA: (As interpreted.) Well, Madam Vice President, I am delighted to meet you for the first time.

And I mean it from the bottom of my heart for attending the state funeral with the rest of your delegation.

And former Prime Minister Abe poured his heart and soul into further strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, a cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy and the security. And I feel it is my duty to carry on his aspirations and expand on his diplomatic legacy, and thereby strengthening and further advancing the bilateral relations.

The most important strategic issue for Japan and the United States is to ensure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. And I hope Japan and the United States continue working together to promote and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific, put forward by former Prime Minister Abe.

And, Madam Vice President, I would like to kindly ask for your continued cooperation and understanding.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. It's an honor to be with you, and I'm sorry it's under these circumstances.

This is my second visit to Japan. I came years ago with my family. And I have great respect for the country and its people. And I'm here to lead the delegation to show our respect for Prime Minister Abe.

His leadership, as you said, was an enduring friendship with the United States. His leadership strengthened the relationship between Japan and the United States. And so, on behalf of President Biden, I send you our well wishes and condolences.

The President and I, we know of your leadership and the strength of the relationship between our nations. The Ambassador, Rahm Emanuel, talks often about the time he spends with you as well.

And, as you have said, the alliance between Japan and the United States is a cornerstone of what we believe is integral to peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. And it something we've prioritized, because we also believe it is in the best interest of the American people, in terms of their security and prosperity, and we do believe the same for the Japanese people.

On the issue of security, our defense commitments to Japan are ironclad, and we will always stand with you -- stand with you in the face of any threats that you face.

On the issue of the economy, I look forward to our discussions on many levels about (inaudible) prosperity, including the work that we've been doing on supply chain resilience. And we're going to continue to invest in the research and development that is happening in our nations that is spurring extraordinary innovation.

And I thank you also for your leadership in strengthening international rules and norms around the world, and preserving -- (inaudible) commitment to preserving peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

This issue of (inaudible) holding Russia accountable, and developing rules and norms in space, continue to be a priority for us. And we, again, look forward to working with you on these issues.

Thank you again from the bottom of our heart. I'm looking forward to our conversation, Prime Minister Kishida.

PRIME MINISTER KISHIDA: Thank you very much.

Kamala Harris, Remarks by the Vice President Prior to a Meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan in Tokyo, Japan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/358098

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