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Biden to meet with Abe in fall

Kyodo

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is likely to visit Japan in the fall for a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a government source said Friday.

The trip will likely take place in October or November, the source said.

During a meeting meant to signal the strength of the bilateral security alliance, Biden and Abe are expected to compare notes on developments in the Asia-Pacific region, including China and North Korea.

The plan comes as China flexes its muscles to press territorial claims to the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and North Korea continues down the path toward developing nuclear weapons.

Biden is expected to welcome and express support for political stability in Japan and urge the country to take steps toward improving relations with China and South Korea.

Abe will likely brief Biden on his administration’s plan to revise the interpretation of the Constitution to pave the way for Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, according to the source.

Until now successive governments have held the position that while Japan has the right to come to the defense of an ally under attack, it cannot exercise that right because of limits imposed by the pacifist Constitution.

Abe and Biden last met July 26 in Singapore.

Biden last visited Japan in August 2011.