Although the summit will be largely symbolic, it'll also be a chance to cement a unified stance on China — or at least clarify how far they’re willing to go together.
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Pyongyang could conduct a missile test or unveil a new weapon as it marks a key anniversary and seeks to force itself back to the top of the U.S.-Japan agenda.
Japan has been wary of checking China on rights issues, partly out of fear of economic retaliation from its largest trading partner.
The carrier and five other ships' sailing over the weekend was a signal of China's growing ability to counter U.S. and Japanese military power further from its shores, experts say.
While U.S. officials have remained mum on details of the review, Biden has put a heavy emphasis on the importance of working with allies to help craft the strategy.
A simple shift in language by the Biden administration could prove to be a stumbling block for any talks with the nuclear-armed country.
The fresh weapons test could put Washington in a tough spot as it prepares to brief allies in Tokyo and Seoul next week on a review of U.S. policy toward Pyongyang.
In a joint statement singling out Beijing, the top U.S. and Japanese diplomats and defense chiefs condemned China's "coercion and destabilizing behavior" in the region.
Kim Yo Jong slammed the United States and South Korea on Tuesday over ongoing joint military drills, in the first remarks by a high-level regime official aimed at the Biden administration.
Both nations are expected to use the meeting to set the agenda for the alliance, making abundantly clear the shifting U.S. and Japanese perceptions of China.