WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden visits South Korea and Japan from May 20-24, a trip seen as crucial for efforts to bolster regional cooperation and counter China.
Here is the latest on Biden’s schedule:
SOUTH KOREA: Friday, May 20 – Sunday May, 22
* Biden departed Washington on Thursday afternoon.
* Arrived the U.S. Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Friday evening, and toured a Samsung Electronics semiconductor plant with South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol, underscoring supply chain security.
* Saturday afternoon, Biden will participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Seoul National Cemetery, honoring those who died in the Korean War.
* Biden and Yoon will meet at the People’s House in Seoul to discuss North Korea, security in the Indo-Pacific, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other issues, then hold a late afternoon joint press briefing.
* Yoon will host Biden for a state dinner on Saturday at the National Museum of Korea.
* Biden will not go to the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South Korea from North Korea. National security adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden has previously visited the DMZ and wants to see other elements of U.S. forces partnering with Korean forces. The White House has not released details on where that will occur.
* On Sunday, Biden will give remarks with the chairman of Hyundai Motor Group on the company’s plan to invest in a new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in Savannah, Georgia.
* Biden will greet U.S. Embassy staff at Dragon Hill Lodge in Seoul, and visit with U.S. service members and their families at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek before departing for Japan.
JAPAN: Sunday, May 22 – Monday, May 23
* On Monday in Tokyo, Biden will meet with Japanese Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace.
* Biden will hold a meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio at the Akasaka Palace to discuss the U.S.-Japan alliance, Indo-Pacific security, North Korea, and other issues, followed by a joint press briefing .
* Biden will then deliver remarks to “launch” the administration’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which seeks to set standards on issues such as labor, the environment, and supply chains. He is to be joined in-person by Kishida for the announcement, and virtually by a number of other Indo-Pacific countries, according to the White House.
* Kishida will host Biden for dinner at the Kochūan restaurant in Tokyo.
QUAD SUMMIT: Tuesday, May 24
* Biden is expected to join Japanese host Kishida, India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, and the winner of Australia’s national election held on Saturday for the second in-person Quad summit at the Kantei Palace in Tokyo.
* Biden is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with the Indian and Australian leaders on the sidelines of the summit.
* He will meet with U.S. Embassy staff at the Okura Tokyo hotel before returning to Washington.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom in Washington, and Jack Kim in Seoul; Editing by Heather Timmons, Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)