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Japan Calls Biden’s ‘Xenophobic’ Comments ‘Unfortunate’

James King, MPA
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The Japanese Embassy said Friday that President Joe Biden’s labeling of Japan as “xenophobic” was “unfortunate.” In a statement, the embassy said Biden’s comments were “not based on an accurate understanding of Japan’s policies.”

Biden made the remarks at a campaign fundraiser Wednesday grouping Japan with China Russia and India. He said those countries were struggling economically because “they’re xenophobic” and “don’t want immigrants.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre later clarified that Biden meant the U.S. is “a nation of immigrants” that is strengthened by immigration. The Japanese Embassy acknowledged this clarification.

“We have raised this point to the U.S. government and explained Japan’s positions and policies once again,” the embassy said. However, it stressed the comments would not affect future cooperation between the two countries.

The clarification came after Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met at the White House in April. There, Biden called the U.S.-Japan alliance “unbreakable.”

Some observers in the U.S. and abroad criticized Biden’s original characterization. Chen Weihua, a columnist for China’s state-owned China Daily, accused Biden of having “a serious mental disease” in his fixation on “smearing China.”