After sending congratulatory note, Suga ponders his approach to Biden
Japan Times -- Nov 10
Although U.S. President Donald Trump continues to stew over the election’s outcome, the Japanese government is already moving ahead with the conclusion shared by most world leaders: Democratic challenger Joe Biden will be the next leader of the United States.

Following a congratulatory tweet sent out over the weekend, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga again toasted the victory by Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, on Monday morning, telling reporters that although neither a phone call between the two leaders nor a visit by Suga to Washington is in the planning stages at the moment, he is eager to work with the incoming administration.

“Japan and the U.S. are allies that share universal values such as liberty and democracy,” Suga said. “We’d like to work together with the U.S. to further strengthen the alliance and secure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Leaders across the globe have breathed a collective sigh of relief at the prospect of a Biden presidency. This has especially been the case for those who have had rancorous relationships with Trump, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

But the change will present a distinct set of challenges for Suga, who took up his post less than two months ago and inherited the legacy of Shinzo Abe, one of the few leaders to successfully cultivate amicable personal ties with Trump despite the U.S. leader’s deep-seated skepticism toward multinational cooperation.

The Suga administration must now shift gears, developing a blueprint for its approach to a Biden White House that is widely expected to opt for a return to normalcy on the international stage.

Maintaining — and bolstering — the two allies’ defense, diplomatic and economic ties will be the goal. But moving from Trump’s impetuous style to a more conventional approach will be an abrupt change for Tokyo, which has grown accustomed to the president’s mercurial manner.

At a regular briefing Monday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, the government’s top spokesman, affirmed that Biden was the winner of the election, citing media projections and the former vice president’s victory speech. The acknowledgment, usually nothing extraordinary, came this time amid refusals by the incumbent to concede.

News source: Japan Times
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