Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's summit with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington will take place on April 16, the top government spokesman said Friday, a week later than previously scheduled.

The delay is necessary "to allow more time for preparation to ensure the success" of Suga's trip, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference. A Japanese government source said the United States asked to reschedule to focus on dealing with COVID-19.

The meeting, Biden's first with a foreign leader since taking office, will be a chance to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and affirm cooperation on a range of issues including efforts to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region, COVID-19, climate change, China, and recent North Korean missile tests, Kato said.