Japan's Prime Minister will be first foreign leader to visit US under Biden, administration official says

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan will be the first foreign leader to visit the United States since President Joe Biden took office and the global coronavirus pandemic halted much international travel, according to a senior administration official.

No firm date has been established yet for the trip, the official said.
Biden is meeting virtually with Suga on Friday morning along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, a group informally known as the “Quad.” The meeting — Biden’s first leader-level summit — will last about 90 minutes, the official said.
    The Biden administration is in discussions with the governments of India, Japan and Australia about significantly increasing the capacity for Covid-19 vaccines that are authorized by the World Health Organization or stringent regulatory authorities, another senior administration official said. A senior-level “Quad” vaccine experts group also will be established, that official said.
      “The United States, working closely with India and Japan, have put together complex financing vehicles that will allow for a very substantial, frankly dramatic, increase in the capacity to create vaccines, up to a billion by 2022,” the first senior administration official said.
        These capacities will come online later this year, the first official said, and are “designed to address the problem downstream, recognizing that once we have dealt with vaccination issues in the United States that our biggest problem will be mutations and continuation of challenges globally.”
          In addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, Biden will focus on the climate crisis during Friday’s virtual summit.
            The “Quad” partners will pledge to fully implement the Paris agreement, to work together on global climate actions and to cooperate on climate mitigation, the second senior administration official said. Working groups also will be established between the countries to focus on climate issues, the official said.

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