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Indo-Pacific Diplomacy: Navigating Tensions and Alliances Amidst Biden’s Remarks

Indo-Pacific Diplomacy

Japan and India rebut Biden’s remarks, calling them ‘xenophobic’ countries

In a recent incident, US President Joe Biden referred to Japan and India as “xenophobic” countries during a closed-door fundraiser, suggesting that their economies were suffering due to a lack of openness to immigrants. Both Japan and India have refuted these claims, with Japan emphasizing the importance of communication and cooperation with the United States and India asserting itself as the world’s most open society.

Despite the controversy, Japan and India continue to strengthen their alliances with the United States, with Japan relaxing its immigration policies and India highlighting its inclusive and diverse society. The incident has sparked international discussion and emphasized the importance of understanding and cooperation among allies in the Indo-Pacific region.

Key Concepts

  • Japan and India refute Biden’s description of them as “xenophobic” countries.
  • Biden’s comments were made during a closed-door fundraiser.
  • Japan and India are important allies of the United States in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Japan and India are members of the Quad.
  • Japan will strengthen communication and cooperation with the United States in the future.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden reaffirmed the strong alliance between the two countries.
  • India describes itself as the world’s most open society.
  • India has an annual GDP growth rate of 7%.
  • India and the United States have strengthened cooperation in defense and key technologies.

Japan and India on Saturday (May 4) refuted US President Joe Biden’s description of the two countries as “xenophobic” countries. Japan said Biden’s comments were not based on an accurate understanding of Japan’s policies, while India pushed back and described itself as the world’s most open society.

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Biden said at a closed-door fundraiser on May 1, “Why is the Chinese economy in trouble? Why is Japan in trouble? Why are Russia and India in trouble? Because they are xenophobic. They don’t want immigrants.”

“Immigration is what makes our America stronger,” Biden said.

Japan and India are important allies of the United States in the Indo-Pacific region and are also members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad). As China becomes increasingly assertive in the Indo-Pacific region, the United States is continuing to strengthen relations with its allies in the region. However, Biden’s negative statement naming the two countries was surprising and aroused heated international discussion.

“Regrettably, the relevant comments are not based on an accurate understanding of Japan’s policies,” the Japanese government said in a statement. Japan has re-explained its position and policies to the United States and stated that it will further strengthen communication and cooperation between Japan and the United States in the future.

A few weeks ago, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida paid a state visit to the United States, and Biden warmly received him with high-level diplomatic courtesy. The two leaders reaffirmed the “unbreakable alliance” between Japan and the United States and agreed to strengthen security ties between the two countries in the face of threats from China in the Indo-Pacific region.

After Biden’s remarks aroused discussion, the White House quickly explained that Biden did not intend to offend but to emphasize that the United States is a country of immigrants and did not intend to damage relations with Japan.

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An unnamed Japanese government official said Saturday that Japan understood Biden’s remarks to highlight immigration as an advantage for the United States.

The official emphasized that, as demonstrated during Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to the United States in April, Japan-U.S. relations are “stronger than ever.”

Japan has always been known for its strict stance on immigration. However, based on the factor of supplementing the labor force, Japan has relaxed its policy in recent years, making it easier for foreign workers to work and stay in Japan to alleviate the problems of a declining birthrate and a shrinking population.

In New Delhi, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also pushed back on Biden’s comments on Saturday, calling India the most open society in the world.

“I have never seen such an open, diverse, and diverse society anywhere in the world,” Jaishankar told a roundtable hosted by Indian media.

“We are actually not only not exclusive, but one of the most open, diverse, and, in many ways, understanding societies in the world.”

Jaishankar also refuted the suggestion that xenophobia hinders economic growth. He pointed out that India’s annual GDP growth rate is 7%. “If you look at the growth rates of some other countries, you will find the answer.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid a grand state visit to Washington in the middle of last year, taking cooperation between India and the United States in defense and key emerging technologies to a new level.

India, the world’s most populous country, implemented the Citizenship Amendment Act earlier this year to ease the process for illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to obtain Indian citizenship. However, the relevant regulations have religious preconditions and exclude Muslims, which has attracted criticism from some people.

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