Friction between the U.S. and China means Washington will need Japan more than before, regardless of who wins the U.S. presidential election, according to a foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

"U.S. relations with Japan and East Asian policies are likely to become relatively more important” as China becomes more powerful, former diplomat Kunihiko Miyake said in an interview Thursday, while the U.S. election result remained unclear. Friction between China and the U.S. won’t dissipate under a new president, because both Democrats and Republicans are in agreement that China is the main strategic rival for the U.S., Miyake added.

Suga must tread a fine line with Japan’s only formal security ally, the U.S., and its biggest trade partner, China. Democrat Joe Biden, a past proponent of engagement with Beijing, has adopted a more critical tone during the campaign and pledged to enlist allies to a coordinated effort to check China’s rise. Republican Donald Trump has been more assertive with China than any U.S. president in decades, slapping tariffs on goods and moving to restrict its access to key technologies.