President Joe Biden kicked off his first full day in Japan by traveling to two Tokyo palaces before noon – first meeting with Japanese Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace and then Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the Akasaka Palace.
Biden’s meeting with Kishida marked the first time the two leaders held an in-person bilateral gathering, as the Japanese prime minister took office in October. The two met along the sidelines of the G7 in March in Brussels. Biden met virtually with Kishida in January.
‘I want to thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for your strong leadership and your support of the Ukrainian people, it was welcomed more than could know,’ Biden said seated alongside Kishida in an ornate room.
On the war, Kishida remarked: ‘Russia’s aggression of Ukraine undermines the foundation of global order.’
Biden also told the prime minister that the U.S.- Japanese alliance ‘has long been the cornerstone of peace and prosperity and Indo-Pacific.’
‘And the United States remains fully committed to Japanese – to Japan’s defense and we will face the challenges of today and the future together,’ Biden added.
The president didn’t take questions from the press at the conclusion of his opening remarks with Kishida, with U.S. ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel caught on camera laughing and smirking as reporters were yelled at to depart.
President Joe Biden (left) met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumo Kishida (right) Monday morning at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. Biden thanks Kishida for Japan’s help in supporting Ukraine
President Joe Biden (left) walks alongside Japenese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) outside the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo Monday morning
President Joe Biden (right) puts his hand over his heart for a playing of the Star-Spangled banner outside the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo as he meets Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (left) for the first time
A Japanese honor guard carrying both Japenese and American flags welcomes President Joe Biden to Akasaka Palace in Tokyo on Monday
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (left) stands alongside President Joe Biden (right) at a welcoming ceremony Monday in Tokyo at the Akasaka Palace
President Joe Biden (left) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) as they meet in the ornate Akasaka Palace in Tokyo Monday
Alongside President Joe Biden were (from left) U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Amb. Rahm Emanuel and Secretary of State Antony Blinken
As Biden arrived at Akasaka Palace, he was greeted with considerable pomp and circumstance.
A Japanese honor guard – dressed in white uniforms with red accents – marched with American and Japanese flags.
A military band played the Star-Spangled Banner and then the Japanese national anthem.
Biden was accompanied by Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago and President Barack Obama’s first White House chief of staff, as well as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, among others.
After Biden and Kishida hold their bilateral meeting, they’ll hold a joint press conference Monday afternoon.
Monday night they’ll have dinner together at the Tokyo restaurant Kuchuon.
Earlier at the Imperial Palace, Biden was met outside by the emperor before the two slipped inside for a private meeting.
Biden didn’t touch the emperor, nor did he bow.
‘President Biden called on His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito today to offer greetings on behalf of the American people, highlighting the strength of the U.S.-Japan relationship anchored by deep people-to-people ties,’ the White House said about Biden’s first stop.
President Joe Biden (left) greets Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (right) for a meeting at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo – the first stop on Biden’s first full day in Japan
President Joe Biden (left) poses for a photograph with Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (right) outside the Imperial Palace Monday morning in Tokyo
President Joe Biden (left) walks into the Imperial Palace Monday morning in Tokyo alongside Japane’s Emperor Naruhito (right)
A handout photo of President Joe Biden’s (left) private meeting Monday morning with Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (right)
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (center right) looks at the venue prepared for the welcome ceremony Monday for President Joe Biden
Security police are seen in the Tokyo streets in advance of President Joe Biden’s meeting Monday with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
President Joe Biden (right) embraces U.S. ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel (left) on the tarmac of Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, Japan Sunday
The U.S. ambassador to Japan, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (right), stands alongside Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi (left) to welcome President Joe Biden to the country Sunday evening
Biden’s first trip to Asia puts him face-to-face with three new leaders: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Biden arrived at Kyoto Air Base outside of Tokyo late Sunday afternoon after spending two days in South Korea.
There, Biden met South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for the first time.
Yoon has only been in office for 13 days.
They held at event at a Samsung plant, held a bilateral meeting and press conference, then Yoon invited Biden to National Museum of Korea for a state dinner, complete with Korean fare. They spent part of Sunday together at Osan Air Base thanking American and Korean troops.
On Tuesday, Biden will meet Australia’s Albanese as part of the second in-person Quad meeting, which India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend.
Albanese won Saturday’s Australian election over incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The White House confirmed Sunday that Albanese would fly to Tokyo for the Quad meeting as one of his first official duties.
First Lady Jill Biden beat her husband to Asia, when she led a two-person U.S. delegation to the Tokyo Olympics in July, which was scaled-down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She, too, met with Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace. The first lady also spent time at Akasaka Palace with Japan’s previous leader, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his wife Mariko.
While Biden will be interacting with new leaders, an old problem hung over his time in Asia: missile and nuclear testing threats from North Korea.
As of Monday morning, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un hadn’t tested an ICBM or a nuke.
Biden will privately meet the families of Japanese people who have been abducted in North Korea alongside Kishida Monday afternoon.
From there he’ll debut the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, or IPEF, with a number of countries in the region.
First Lady Jill Biden (left) traveled to Tokyo last summer and met with Japenese Emperor Naruhito (right) at an event welcoming all the heads of delegations for the Tokyo summer Olympics
First Lady Jill Biden waves to reporters as she arrived at the Imperial Palace last July for an event hosted by Japan’s Emperor Naruhito