Remarks by Vice President Harris and Prime Minister Suga of Japan Before Bilateral Meeting
11:06 A.M. EDT
Vice President’s Ceremonial Office
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Good morning. I briefly want to discuss the tragedy that occurred in Indianapolis last night.
Yet again, we have families in our country that are grieving the loss of their family members because of gun violence. There is no question that this violence must end. And we are thinking of the families that lost their loved ones. And the President will speak later about the case.
It is now my great pleasure to welcome the Prime Minister of Japan and to thank him for this visit, which is the first visit to the United States of a world leader since we came in office.
The President and I are very excited about the conversations we will have with the Prime Minister today. As you know, Mr. Prime Minister, you and I met just about a month ago, during the Quad summit, which was a meeting with the United States, with our allies — Japan, with Australia, and with India — where we had extensive conversations about a collaboration and a friendship around some of the biggest challenges facing our world.
I also look forward to our conversations about our mutual commitment to the Indo-Pacific and the work that our nations will do together to continue with peace and prosperity in that region of the world.
And it is also a personal point of privilege for me to spend this time with you. As you know, I come from California, where we have a very strong and vibrant Japanese American community who has made great contributions, obviously, to not only the state, but to the country. And it is a community which I have — with which I have worked and lived for my entire life.
And so I welcome you. So welcome, and thank you.
PRIME MINISTER SUGA: (As interpreted.) Thank you very much. I’d like to, first of all, express my sincere gratitude for inviting me as the first foreign guest to Washington, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, since the inauguration of the Biden administration.
I’m also very delighted to have the opportunity to meet with you, Vice President Harris, face to face today and have a wonderful conversation. So I very much look forward to it.
Japan highly praises and appreciates that the Biden-Harris administration puts high importance on cooperating with its allies and partners. There is no other time than today when the Japan-U.S. alliance needs to be strong. This is an alliance that is connected by universal values such as freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.
Today, I very much look forward to discussing with you, Vice President Harris, as well as with President Biden later on, regarding important challenges — a wide range of challenges –that both Japan and the United States face and reconfirm the bond of our alliance.
Thank you very much, Vice President.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Thank you very much. I look forward to our conversation. Thank you.
11:12 A.M. EDT