Biden Slams Ally Japan, Labels Them Xenophobic After Tight Immigration Policy

( US President Joe Biden has praised his own administration’s work to develop ties with allies in the Indo-Pacific region in an effort to counter China. However, Biden blasted two of those allies, Japan and India, for allegedly maintaining a “xenophobic” attitude toward immigration.

During a fundraiser on May 1, Biden criticized Japan and India for not strengthening their economies by welcoming immigrants. Biden claimed that Japan and India “don’t want immigrants,” and compared the allies to adversaries like China and Russia.

However, Biden’s claim is not just potentially inflammatory, but also factually questionable. India and Japan both rank in the top 25 countries by number of immigrants, according to 2020 data. Moreover, his comparison to Russia falls flat, given that Russia hosts the fourth highest number of immigrants in the world.

Nevertheless, Biden contrasted the alleged xenophobia of Japan and India to his own administration’s embrace of immigrants. The United States’ economy is growing because of immigrants, Biden claimed.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended Biden’s comment during a press briefing the following day. Biden was trying to make a broader point about the US being a so-called “nation of immigrants,” Jean-Pierre said.

Jean-Pierre also affirmed the importance and enduring nature of the relationship between the US and Japan. White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby also said that he was unaware of any communications between the Biden administration, India and Japan on the matter.

Biden has invited both Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US for state visits in the past year, demonstrating his administration’s commitment to bolstering ties in the region.

Given Biden’s criticism of Japan and India as unwelcoming to outsiders, perhaps he will find himself without an invitation to visit the two countries. Although, it is more likely that they will bite their tongues and ignore Biden’s comments, so as not to strain relations with a major ally.

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