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President Biden will meet virtually with new Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio on Friday, according to the White House.

The White House says the meeting will be to “further deepen ties between our governments, economies, and our people,” and will “highlight the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance.” Kishida, who leads the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, took office in October. The Biden administration has been trying to manage the areas of concern it has with China and emphasizes that a relationship with Japan is key to security in the Indo-Pacific region.

“President Biden looks forward to working with Prime Minister Kishida to advance our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, and to expand our close cooperation on critical issues like combatting COVID-19, addressing the climate crisis, and partnering on new and emerging technologies, including through the Quad,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Kishida, 64, was formerly a top diplomat. He has said his top priority as prime minister will be the country’s economy, and he has plans for what he calls a “new capitalism” aimed at a more equitable distribution of profits in order to address the growing income inequality in Japan.  

Mr. Biden has identified China a top foreign policy challenge, and the president said last year China will “own” America within 15 years if more isn’t done. The president held a three-and-a-half hour virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November, which focused on navigating its “strategic risks” with China, including its increasingly aggressive stance on Taiwan, which is self-governed. The meeting yielded no significant breakthroughs.