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Interview with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Biden Holds Joint News Conference with Japanese PM; White House Hosts Japanese Prime Minister. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired April 10, 2024 - 13:00:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.

Biden ups his criticism of Netanyahu, but do the warnings get through? Senator Bernie Sanders joins me to discuss America's politics at home and


Then, Palestinians mark the end of Ramadan, but with little to celebrate. We have a report on the medical disaster unfolding in Gaza.

And --


MICHELLE O'NEILL, FIRST MINISTER, NORTHERN IRELAND: If we can't respect our difference of approach, that's a problem because that is what the Good

Friday agreement speaks to.


AMANPOUR: -- making peace with your enemies. On the 26th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, I speak to Northern Ireland's First Minister

Michelle O'Neill about bridging the divide.

Also, ahead --


EMILY TOMPKINS, JOURNALIST, GLOBAL AFFAIRS: There is, at minimum, an internalized prejudice about who we expect to die.


AMANPOUR: -- why the deaths of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza broke through. Global Affairs journalist Emily Tompkins explores this

with Michel Martin.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.

All talk, no action? Growing numbers want to know about accountability, as President Biden continues to criticize Israel's war on Gaza, openly

criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself in an interview with the Spanish-language network Univision that aired last

night. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think what he's doing is a mistake. I don't agree with his -- I think it's outrageous that those four

or three vehicles were hit by drones.

What I'm calling for is for the Israelis to just call for a cease-fire, allow for the next six, eight weeks total access to all food and medicine

going into the country.


AMANPOUR: Meantime, money and weapons are continuing to flow to Israel, even as the U.S. warns against a Rafah incursion. And, meantime, the

situation in Gaza, as we said, is dire, with children dying from -- quote - - "starvation-related complications." That's according to Human Rights Watch.

And nearly 400 bodies have been exhumed from mass graves in and around the Al Shifa Hospital.

In the wake of October 7, when Hamas murdered 1,200 Israelis and took hundreds hostage, like so many Americans, Senator Bernie Sanders spoke out

in favor of Israel's right to defend itself. But now he says the government is violating international law, arguing -- quote -- "The United States

cannot continue to be complicit in the horror that's taking place now."

And Senator Sanders is joining the program from Capitol Hill.

Welcome back to our program, Senator.

So we have laid out your criticisms. We have heard President Biden's criticisms of the current military operation. What is he doing, the

president, that he -- what do you want him to do that he hasn't done up until now?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Look, Christiane, we are looking right now in Gaza at one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the modern history of

the world.

As you indicated, right now, hundreds of thousands of people face starvation. Children are dying from malnutrition. Eighty percent of the

population has been displaced. Over half the buildings have been damaged or destroyed. And Israel continues to make it difficult to get the kind of

humanitarian aid in that desperate people need.

So, to my mind, the most important thing the United States government can do is say to Mr. Netanyahu, you know what? You cannot continue this

disastrous, horrific war. You cannot allow children by the thousands to face starvation, or you're not getting another nickel.

Now, I think one of the incongruities that a lot of people in America see is, everybody is criticizing Netanyahu and, then they're saying in the next

word, oh, here, Mr. Netanyahu, here's another $14 billion on top of the $3.5 billion you got. You're a terrible guy, you're doing terrible things,

but here's your money.

I think our policy has got to be very clear, not another nickel for Netanyahu's right-wing, extremist government while hundreds of thousands of

people in Gaza face starvation, period.


AMANPOUR: Senator, can I ask you, when you say not another nickel, do you actually mean actual aid money, or do you mean the American weapons that

are not nickels and dimes? They are actual bombs and artillery and ammunition?

SANDERS: Oh, oh, absolutely.

The idea that we have supplied and are continuing to supply 2,000-pound bombs, which could wipe out an entire block, and other military aid is

unacceptable. Look, there is a terrible war going on which violates international law. In fact, it is violating American law.

Let me tell you how. Foreign Assistance Act is very, very clear that, if a country blocks American humanitarian aid, no more funds for that country.

Israel has blocked American humanitarian aid.

So, what I am saying right now, talk is cheap. But we cannot be critical of Netanyahu and his right-wing extremists and, at the same time, give them

money and weapons to continue this terrible war. That's where the leverage is. I suspect that President Biden is beginning to use that leverage in his

discussions with Netanyahu.

What we have seen in the last week is a -- we don't know exactly, but an improvement in the number of trucks. The U.N. says now that over 200 trucks

got in yesterday. That is an improvement. But, obviously, you need 500 trucks. You need 1,000 trucks. You need those trucks getting to the most

desperate parts of Gaza, where people are literally starving to death.

So, we're seeing a little bit of an improvement, but we have got to hold Israel accountable. And, in my view, the leverage we have is money. Not

another nickel until Netanyahu changes its entire policy.

AMANPOUR: OK, so tell me how that works, because, in America, we have the legislative process. You are part of that. A lot of this, I think, is

mandated by Congress and approval -- and approvals in aid packages.

And, as you said, the law states that this amount of aid and stuff cannot go into -- in certain conditions. But, on March 25, the State Department

said they found no violations made by Israel either when it comes to the conduct of the war or the provision of humanitarian assistance.


AMANPOUR: Now, clearly, you don't agree with that, but what can you do about it?

SANDERS: No, I -- look, this -- this is exactly the problem. You can't go around criticizing Netanyahu, who clearly, clearly, the language is clear,

is in violation of American law, and then to say we have not found any reasons to deny aid. That is nonsense.

And the State Department has got to change its tune big time.

AMANPOUR: What is the process, then?


AMANPOUR: If it wasn't -- what is the process, and what will be the straw that breaks the camel's back?

SANDERS: All right.

I don't know what the straw will be, but here's where we are right now. As you know, there is a supplemental bill that passed the Senate against my

vote. I think, if I'm not mistaken, I was the only member of the Senate to vote against that, specifically because of $14 billion in there going to

Israel, including $10 billion, $10 billion for unfettered military aid.

Another amount of money went for the defense for the Iron Dome and so forth, what I can live with. But the idea of giving Netanyahu another $10

billion to continue this war seems to me to be totally absurd. That bill is now in the House of Representatives. God knows what goes on in the House of

Representatives, if they're able to do anything.

But that is where it is right now. And I would hope that my colleagues in the House will say, no, Israel does not deserve another nickel at this


AMANPOUR: And so, Senator, as you know, the major amount of money is destined for, I think you agree with this, Ukraine's right to defend



AMANPOUR: So, if what you hope happens happens, does that mean Ukraine is left in limbo again, unable to defend itself against the increasing

shelling and grabbing of territory by Russia?

SANDERS: Well, you have asked a very, very good question. I fully support aid to Ukraine and Ukraine's right to defend themselves against Putin's

horrible war that he's waging against the people there.

In my view, those issues should be separated. I believe we should provide significant aid to Ukraine to stop Russian imperialism, but I do not

believe we should be supplying aid to Netanyahu's right-wing, extremist government.

AMANPOUR: Can I just -- let's talk about the mounting criticism from you, from other Democratic senators, clearly from a lot of --

SANDERS: I'm losing her sound. I can't hear her.

AMANPOUR: Can you hear me now?


AMANPOUR: Can you hear me, Senator? OK.



AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about the rhetoric and the -- what you're expressing, which other Democratic senators are feeling, and many, many

American people, including Democratic voters.

So, you recently told MSNBC Netanyahu should -- quote -- "stop murdering innocent people." You have called and talked and criticized his -- quote --

"war machine." This is very, very different language than American politicians have ever used about any Israeli government.

And you yourself are a Jewish person, a Jewish senator, along with Senator Schumer, who are calling for accountability. But the majority of Americans

believe -- and I'm going to read you from the latest Pew report -- that, actually, 62 percent of American Jews say the way Israel is carrying out

the war is acceptable. Even younger Jewish voters say it's acceptable, 52 percent.

So, again, what you're saying, is it in tune with not only your moral views, but those of the American people and the Jewish -- the Jewish


SANDERS: Well, I'm very proud to be Jewish, but we are a very, very small part of the American population.

The polling is pretty clear.


SANDERS: The last poll that I saw, by a pretty good margin, the American people are saying no more military aid to Netanyahu's government, no more

financing that war.

Poll after poll shows very strong disapproval of the behavior of the Israeli military under Netanyahu. So, I think, in the beginning, as you

indicated, look, Hamas is a terrible terrorist organization that killed 1,200 innocent people and started this war. And I think you had almost

universal sympathy for the plight that Israel found itself in.

But, months later, after this horrific war that Netanyahu is waging, that sentiment in this country is changing.

AMANPOUR: And, Senator, I want to know what you think about the election coming up in this country that President Biden is rerunning with former

President Trump.

Do you believe, given what's happened in some of the primaries, the protest vote, that this war will hurt President Biden at the polls in November?

SANDERS: Yes, I do.

I'm strongly supporting President Biden. I'm proud of the work he has done in many areas. He and I have worked together on trying to lower the cost of

prescription drugs, with some success. We're rebuilding the infrastructure. We're rebuilding manufacturing. We are strongly defending women's right to

control their own bodies, trying to end bigotry which exists in this country.

I think the choice is very, very clear. I think Trump will be a disaster if elected for this country, a very dangerous person who is undermining

American democracy every day.

But, to answer your question, I think, in terms of how young people, how people of color feel about the president, this is being negatively impacted

by the support for Israel that he has shown. I think that's got to change. And we are doing our best to try to get that to change.


Let me just pivot a little bit to domestic politics, of course, because you are obviously so involved. You have been a two-time presidential candidate

and you know exactly the lay of the land.

So, you have mentioned President Trump. He, as you know, seems to be caught between his own rock and his own hard place about abortion. Now, he started

the backlash, having nominated very, very conservative judges, who rolled back Roe v. Wade.

And now he's saying that the latest decision by the courts, which presumably are independent in Arizona, that go back 160 years, in terms of

abortion rights or no abortion rights, he says that's a mistake and we're going to straighten it out.

What is your comment on that? And where do you think this issue is going to land in --

SANDERS: I'm losing her again. I can't hear her.

AMANPOUR: OK, Senator. Let me --

SANDERS: OK, got you again. OK.


SANDERS: Christiane, the difficulty we have in trying to respond to Trump -- and I say this, in a sense, with all due respect -- he's a pathological

liar. So, what he says today is not what he will say tomorrow. He will lie about virtually everything.

Look, Trump boasts, he boasts, that he appointed three right-wing Supreme Court justices, who overturned Roe v. Wade. He may -- I think he is

catching on to the reality that that is backfiring within the general population. The American people do not want to go back 50 years.

Women of this country have fought to be able to control their own body, fought for women's rights. And, overwhelmingly, not only virtually all

Democrats, but many Republicans, are saying, this is absurd to take away basic rights that women have won.


So I think he's trying to figure out a political position. But anyone who trusts Donald Trump on women's rights really doesn't have a clue about

where he is coming from or what he stands for.

AMANPOUR: And where do you think the people will stand in the elections on -- in November on this issue?

SANDERS: I think it works very well for Democrats. I think you're seeing some moderate Republicans who are saying, you know what, I may not like Joe

Biden, but you know what, I am not going to vote to make sure that my daughter may not be able to control her own body.

And I think what you have seen in state election after state election is, when states go forward with draconian abortion laws, it ends up backfiring

on them. So, I think, politically, it's a good issue for Democrats, but it's not the only issue.

The issue that we need, in my mind, in addition to abortion, in addition to climate change, which is also something that resonates very strongly,

especially among young people, we need to make clear to the working class of this country that Trump is going to give massive tax breaks to

billionaires. He's going to appoint anti-labor officials to the government, making it harder for workers to form unions.

So, we need to make it clear to every American in this country that Democrats are prepared to take on big money interests, no tax breaks for

billionaires, and protect the interests of working families.

AMANPOUR: OK, so that's really interesting. As we all know, President Biden was the first sitting president to go to a picket line, the UAW.


AMANPOUR: You, I think, accompanied him.

His former chief of staff is saying, though, that, instead of his campaign looking back and trying to boast or whatever, get credit for their --

things that they have done already, they have got to look forward and look at the economy going forward.

Do you agree with that?

SANDERS: One hundred percent.

Look, Biden has the right to take credit for a number of important initiatives, and he should. Should be proud of what he's accomplished. But

at the end of the day, in America today -- and this has been the case for a long, long time -- you have got a working class which is really hurting, 60

percent of our people living paycheck to paycheck.

You have got people all over America who cannot afford the rising costs of housing. You have a health care system which is broken and dysfunctional.

We pay twice as much per capita for health care as people of any other country, and yet 85 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. Our

childcare system is a disaster.

People don't have pensions. So we have enormous problems. And, in my mind, the president, yes, should take credit for what he has accomplished, but he

has got to look to the future and say, you know what, I understand the pain that working families are experiencing, and I am going to pass A, B, C,

indeed, strong legislation.

I happen to believe health care is a human right, that we should guarantee health care to all people. I think it's absurd that we're paying in some

cases 10 times more for prescription drugs as the people in Canada or in Europe. I think it's crazy that we pay childcare workers terrible wages.

People can't find slots. It's very expensive.

I think it's absurd that we have got millions of young people leaving school deeply in debt. Bottom line is, you have got a country and an

economy today that is working really, really, really good for billionaires and the 1 percent, not working for the middle class or the working class of

this country.

And the president understands that. But he's got to get out in front and say, look, this is my agenda. We're going to raise the minimum wage to a

living wage. We're going to make it easier for workers to support unions. We're going to do away with college -- with student debt. And he's making

some progress on that.

But you need an agenda that speaks to the pain of working families, who too often have felt neglected, which is why Trump is gaining support from them.


So, at 82 years old, you are a leader of the progressive movement in the United States, in Congress, and you speak very loudly for the young people.

They love you. You haven't declared whether you are going to run again in November. Are you going to?

SANDERS: Well, Christiane, the media asks me that question every day.

People in Vermont do not like never-ending elections. And, by the way, in a corrupt political system, where billionaires dominate, another problem we

have is, elections never end, all right?

I will announce what I'm going to be doing at the appropriate time, period.

AMANPOUR: OK. So, very quickly -- that's your right, of course.

What about the arson attack on, I think, one of your offices in Vermont? Are you -- is that a broader picture of the dysfunction and the divisions?

SANDERS: Well, I can't give you the answer because we don't know the motives of that particular individual.

It was a terrible thing. He sprayed lighter fluid or whatever it is on the floor. It could have been a real tragedy. We had seven people in the office

at that time. There are other people in that building. It could have been a terrible, terrible tragedy. The local state, federal police did a great

job. They arrested a suspect literally 30 hours after the event.

But it does speak, it does speak to the kind of divisiveness that we see in this country, the kind of hatred that is out there, the kind of

recklessness that's out there. Look, in America, we can have different points of view. We don't have to hate each other. We don't have to -- and I

-- you know, we don't have to be thinking about violence. That's not what this country should be about.

AMANPOUR: Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

SANDERS: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And now today, in America and around the world, Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, it

is one of the biggest celebrations in the Islamic calendar. Families and friends come together to break their fast and to pray.

But in Gaza, as we know, Palestinians are under fire and struggling to find food this Eid. Families have been bombed out of their homes and the

healthcare system is on the brink of collapse.

Correspondent Paula Hancocks reports on the American doctors who are volunteering at one of few remaining hospitals. And as usual, we warn you

about the awful reality within.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A nine-year- old girl cries out, it hurts, it hurts. The doctor holds her hand as she lies on the floor and tells her it's going to be OK. There's no pain

medication for her burns and shrapnel wounds. He tells to pray.

Nearby, another doctor tries to save one of his own, performing CPR on a paramedic who is injured by Israeli artillery fire. His heart eventually

restarts, one life saved, amidst so much loss. His longer-term chances of survival in a decimated medical system are unclear. These doctors are

American, volunteers on the World Health Organization Coordinated mission to the north of Gaza, desperate to help in an ever more helpless crisis.

DR. FARHAN ABDELAZIZ, EMERGENCY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: The situation here is intense. It's catastrophic. Really, these words are hard to describe what

we're seeing. I mean, you're talking about mass casualty events where people are coming in with limited staff, limited overwork staff and hungry

staff, all working who have been displaced from homes and they're sitting here in the ER trying to do the best they can.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): This is Kamal Adwan Hospital in the north, one of the few hospitals still open, although barely functional.

DR. SAMER ATTAR, ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON: This morning, we woke up and found out that four patients died in ICU. One of them was about 10 years old, and

the mom just refused to leave the child's bedside, refused believe that the kid was dead, refused let the staff cover her up. The child died of

malnutrition and dehydration.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Patients here lie on the floor in their own blood. Electricity relies on solar panels. The fuel ran out some time ago.

The hospital's director says volunteer specialists traveling into Gaza are a massive help amid a shrinking medical staff. Close to 500 medical

personnel have been killed since October 7th. Nearly 300 others have also been detained by the Israeli military --

BIDEN: With the prime minister of Japan, Prime Minister Kishida. When I became president, I said that the United States would rebuild the muscle of

our democratic alliances. And we stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies again, because our alliances are America's greatest asset. The relationship

with Japan is powerful proof of that, that investing in our alliance and raising our collective ambitions, we yield remarkable results.

Over the last three years, the partnership between in Japan and the United States have been transformed into a truly global partnership. And that's

thanks in no small part to the courageous leadership of Prime Minister Kishida. And I mean that sincerely.

Together, our countries are taking significant steps to strengthen defense security cooperation, for modernizing command and control structures, and

to increase the interoperability and planning of our militaries so they can work together in a seamless and effective way.

This is the most significant upgrade in our alliance since the end of -- since it was first established. I'm also pleased to announce that for the

first time Japan and the United States and Australia will create a network system of air, missile, and defense architecture. We're also looking

forward to standing up a trilateral military exercise with Japan and United Kingdom.

And our AUKUS defense partnership with Australia and the United Kingdom is exploring how Japan can join our work in the second pillar, which focuses

on advanced capabilities including A.I., autonomous systems, all told that represents a new benchmark for our military cooperation across a range of



On the economic front, our ties have never been more robust. Japan is the top foreign investor in the United States. I say that again, Japan is the

top foreign investor in the United States, and we, the United States, are the top foreign investor in Japan.

Nearly 1 million Americans work in Japanese companies here in the United States. And to name just one example, a few months ago, Toyota announced an

$8 billion investment in a massive battery production facility in North Carolina, which will employ thousands of people. The prime minister is

going to travel to North Carolina tomorrow to visit that project.

Don't stay. Don't stay. We need you back in Japan. They'll probably try to keep you.

We also affirm the science and education ties between Japan and the United States. Those ties stretch up to the moon, where two Japanese astronauts

will join future American missions, and one will become the first non- American ever to land on the moon. And they reach into the high schools and universities as well, where the Mineta -- Ambassador Mineta's program

exists, named for our dear friend Norm Mineta.

We're going to invest in new student exchanges, help train the next generation of Japanese and American leaders. We'll also discuss

developments in the Middle East, including our shared support for a ceasefire and a hostage deal, and urgent efforts to deal with the

humanitarian crisis that exists in Gaza.

We also want to address the Iranian threat, to launch -- threatening to launch a significant attack on Israel. As I told Prime Minister Netanyahu,

our commitment to Israel's security against these threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad. Let me say it again, ironclad. We're going to do all

we can to protect Israel's security.

And finally, I want to commend the prime minister himself. He's a statesman. Command -- you know, the fact is that you condemn Putin's

invasion of -- a brutal invasion of Ukraine when it happened. You pledged more than $12 billion in aid, prioritizing nuclear nonproliferation at the

United Nations Security Council, standing strong with the United States as we stand up for freedom of navigation, including the South China Sea.

And as we maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, and taking the brave step of mending ties with the Republic of Korea so we can

all stand shoulder to shoulder together.

Tomorrow, we will both be joined by another good friend, President Marcos of the Philippines for a trilateral summit. The first of its kind. And

through it all, our commitment to the defense of Japan under Article 5, including the Senkaku Islands, is unwavering.

Mr. Prime Minister, through our partnership, we have strengthened the alliance. We have expanded our work together. We've raised our shared

ambitions. And now the U.S.-Japan alliance is a beacon to the entire world. There's no limit what our countries can -- and our people can do together.

So, thank you for your partnership, your leadership, and your friendship.

And now, over to you, Mr. Prime Minister.

FUMIO KISHIDA, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Thank you, Joe. (INAUDIBLE) countless time. And confirmed our shared notion that we

are at crucial crossroads and that Japan-U.S. partnership is immensely important.

The International Community stands at a historical turning point. In order for Japan, the U.S., the Indo-Pacific creation, and for that matter, the

whole world to enjoy peace, stability, and prosperity lasting into the future, we must resolutely defend and further solidify a free and open

international order based on the rule of law.

And again, today, I told the President that now is the time to demonstrate the true values that Japan and the United States can offer as global

partners, that we must together fulfill our responsibilities to create a world where human dignity is upheld and that Japan will always stand firm

with the United States.


I explained that based on our national security strategy, Japan is determined to strengthen our defense force through possession of

counterstrike capabilities, increase our defense budget, and other initiatives, and was reassured by President Biden of his strong support for

such efforts.

In such context, we confirmed again the urgency to further bolster the deterrence and response capabilities of our alliance, and concurred on

reinforcing our security and defense cooperation to increase interoperability between the U.S. forces and our self-defense forces,

including the improvement of our respective command and control frameworks. We will be discussing the specifics as we plan for the next Japan-U.S. 2+2.

The President and I went on to discuss various specific challenges faced by the International Community. First, we confirmed that unilateral attempts

to change status quo by force or coercion is absolutely unacceptable wherever it may be, and that we will continue to respond resolutely against

such action through cooperation with allies and like-minded nations.

From such perspective, we agreed that our two countries will continue to respond to challenges concerning China through close coordination. At the

same time, we confirmed the importance of continuing our dialogue with China and cooperating with China on common challenges.

We also underscored the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits and confirmed opposition to encourage peaceful resolution of the

cross-straits issue.

The situation in North Korea, including nuclear and missiles development was brought up as well. We welcomed the progress seen in many areas of

cooperation based on the outcome of the Japan-U.S.-ROK summit last August. and concur to coordinate even more closely as we face serious concerns

under the current state of affairs.

President Biden once again demonstrated his strong support towards the immediate resolution of the abduction issue. We reaffirmed the importance

of realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law, and concur to maintain close collaboration through various opportunities

including the Japan-U.S.-Philippines summit, which is planned for tomorrow.

Regarding Russia's aggression of Ukraine, based on a recognition that Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow, taking the issue as our own

problem for Japan, I expressed a resolution to continue with stringent sanctions against Russia and strong support for Ukraine, and we concur to

maintain close partnership with like-minded countries.

On the situation in the Middle East, I expressed my respect for the efforts of President Biden towards the release of the hostages, improvement of the

humanitarian situation, and for calming down the situation. I then explained how Japan is continuing diplomatic efforts to improve the

humanitarian situation and to realize a sustainable ceasefire. And agreed to continue close the cooperation towards the improvement of the situation,

the realization of a two-state solution, and the stabilization of the region.

Regarding the economy, we firstly concurred that for both of us to lead the global economic growth together, the promotion of investment in both

directions is important.


I explained how Japanese businesses are making a significant contribution to the U.S. economy by their investment and the creation of jobs, to which

President Biden agreed.

In order to maintain and strengthen the competitive edge in the area of advanced technologies and to respond appropriately to issues such as

economic coercion, non-market policies and practices and excess capacities, and to overcome the vulnerability of the supply chains and to lead a

sustainable and inclusive economic growth, we affirmed that the collaboration of Japan and the United States is indispensable.

In addition, we concurred to advance our cooperation in the area such as decarbonization, A.I., and startups. There was a huge achievement, also in

the area of space.

In the first half of the 1960s, when I was in the United States, it was the dawn of space development. In the United States, I am one of all those who

were so excited in the U.S. by the spectacular challenge in space. The implementing arrangement has been signed on this occasion, and the

provision of the lunar rover by Japan and the allocation of two astronaut flight opportunities to the lunar service to Japan were confirmed. Under

the Artemis program, I welcome the lunar landing by a Japanese astronaut as the first non-U.S. astronaut.

We also discussed the efforts towards a world without nuclear weapons. We affirmed the realistic and practical endeavors of nuclear disarmament,

including the issuance of the G7 leaders Hiroshima vision last year, and I welcomed the participation of the United States in the FMCT Friends, which

was launched by my initiative.

Lastly, in order to further strengthen the people-to-people bond, which is the cornerstone of our unwavering Japan-U.S. relationship, we affirmed to

further promote people-to-people exchanges.

As the outcome of our meeting today, we will issue a joint statement titled The Global Partners for the Future. This is the expression of the

determination of Japan and the United States to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law that underpins

the peace, stability, and prosperity of the entire community and states that are guiding the principles.

With our partnership, we will defend the future of Japan and the United States, the Indo-Pacific, and the world, and make that future all the more


Thank you, Joe.

BIDEN: Thank you. Now, we'll take a few questions. Jordan Fabian of Bloomberg.

JORDAN FABIAN, BLOOMBERG: Thank you, Mr. President. Last month, you predicted the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates thanks to falling

inflation. But today, data showed that inflation rose more than expected for the third straight month. So, how concerned are you about the fight

against inflation stalling? And do you stand by your prediction for a rate cut?

BIDEN: Well, I do stand by my prediction that before the year is out to be a rate cut, this may delay it a month or so, I'm not sure of that. I don't

-- we don't know what the Fed is going to do for certain.

But look, we have dramatically reduced inflation from 9 percent down to close to 3 percent. We're in a situation where we're better situated than

we were when we took office, where inflation was skyrocketing. And we have a plan to deal with it, whereas the opposition, my opposition talks about

two things. They just want to cut taxes for the wealthy and raise taxes on other people. And so, I think they have no plan. Our plan is one I think is

so sustainable.

FABIAN: Mr. Prime Minister, you've said that in the Nippon Steel acquisition of U.S. steel as a private matter, but I'm wondering, did you

discuss the matter today with President Biden, and do you believe that politics are influencing President Biden's decision to oppose the deal?

And I wouldn't mind, Mr. President, if you answer that one, too.


KISHIDA (through translator): On the issue that you have raised, we understand that discussions are underway between the parties. We hope these

discussions will unfold in directions that would be positive for both sides. Japan believes that appropriate procedures based on law is being

implemented by the U.S. government.

Japan is the largest investor to the United States. Japanese businesses employ close to 1 million workers in the United States. And investment from

Japan to the U.S. can only increase upwards in the months and years to come. And we wish to cement this win-win relationship. Thank you.

BIDEN: I stand by my commitment to American workers. I'm a man of my word, I'm going to keep it. And with regard to that, I stand by our commitment to

our alliance. This is exactly what we're doing, a strong alliance as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prime minister's microphone, please.

NAKAKUKI, KYOTO NEWS (PH): Nakakuki (ph) of Kyoto News. My question is to both Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden.

At the summit, you confirmed your strong objections against unilateral attempts to change status goal by force or coercion by China and agreed on

reinforcing response capabilities. Under current circumstances, should Japan and the United States bolster defense capabilities, China may become

more preoccupied in military expansion and intensify its coercive behavior, that is the risk of dilemma. In order to avoid divide and expand -- avoid

the divide, how should Japan and U.S. respond?

KISHIDA (through translator): Let me then take that question first. At this summit, we confirmed that the United States and Japan will resolutely

defend and bolster a free and open international order based on the rule of law. And that Japan and the United States, as global partners, shall work

together for that purpose.

On challenges concerning China, including the point you raised on objecting to unilateral attempts to change status quo by force or coercion, we

concurred that Japan and the United States, as global partners, shall work together for in close coordination.

And also, as I said previously, we will continue our dialogue with China and we will cooperate with China in tackling common challenges. And the

President and I confirmed the importance of such dialogue as well.

Based on the solid trust with our ally, the United States, we will continue to call on China to fulfill its responsibilities as a major power.

Japan's policy, which I have consistently embraced, is to comprehensively promote the mutual strategic relationship we have with China and establish

a constructive and stable Japan-China relationship through efforts by both sides. That has been my consistent position that I have upheld. We will

continue to seek close communication with China at all levels. That's it for me.

BIDEN: You know, first of all, we keep improving our lines of communication with one another. That's the United States and China. We --

I've met -- I've recently spoke at length with President Xi, and we've agreed that we would, number one, have personal contact with one another

whenever we want to discuss anything, so that we know nothing slips, as we tend to say, between the cup and the lip. So, we know exactly what the

other team is thinking, number one.

And so, we had a long discussion last -- almost -- I guess almost two weeks ago now. And the best way to reduce the chances of miscalculation and

misunderstanding. That's number one.


Number two, in our alliance we have with Japan, is a truly defensive in nature. It's a defensive alliance. And the things we discussed today

improve our cooperation and are purely about defense and readiness. It's not aimed at any one nation or a threat to the region, and it doesn't have

anything to do with conflict. And so, this is about restoring stability in the region. And I think we have a chance of doing that.

OK. Third -- next question. Who do I call on next? Hang on a second. I got my list here. Hang on. I apologize.

O'Reilly (ph) of AFP.

O'REILLY, AFP (PH): Thank you. My first question would go to both of you, Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister. Is there a path for Japan to become a

full member of AUKUS? And I would have a second question for you, Mr. President. You're now saying that Benjamin Netanyahu is making a mistake in

Gaza. What are you willing to do to make him change his strategy? And would you consider conditioning military aid to Israel? Thank you.

KISHIDA (through translator): Thank you. Your question about AUKUS, I will respond. Our country, we want to contribute to the peace and stability of

the region. And therefore, we have consistently supported AUKUS.

Having said that, the participants of AUKUS, U.S., U.K. or so, Australia, with such countries' bilateral relationship or on multilateral occasions,

we have established various relationships, but for Japan to have a direct cooperation with AUKUS, nothing has been decided at this moment.

Going forward with U.S., U.K., or with Australia, with such countries in bilateral or multilateral frameworks, we will continue our cooperation. So,

that will continue to be considered at the moment, about the relationship between Japan and AUKUS. That's it.

BIDEN: With regard to my discussions with Bibi Netanyahu, Prime Minister Netanyahu, as well as our relationship with Israel, I have been very blunt

and straightforward with the prime minister as well as his war cabinet as well as the cabinet.

And the fact of the matter is that Bibi and I had a long discussion. He agreed to do several things that related to, number one, getting more aid,

both food and medicine into Gaza, and reducing significantly the attempts - - the civilian casualties in any action taken in the region.

And thus far, and we -- and it's tied to the hostages. There are a number of hostages that are being held by Hamas. And just yesterday, we're meeting

with the vice president, our national security adviser before that, and then -- and our American hostages as well. And they know how committed we

are, the whole team, to getting their loved ones home. We're not going to stop until we do.

The new proposal on the table of Bill Burns led the effort to -- for us, we're grateful his work. There's a now up to Hamas. They need to move on

the proposal that's been made. And as I said, we get these hostages home where they belong, but also bring back a six-week ceasefire that we need

now. And the fact is that we're getting in somewhere in the last three days over 100 trucks. It's not enough, but needs to be more. And there's one

more opening that has to take place in the north.

So, we'll see what he does in terms of meeting the commitments he made to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This would be the last reporter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Shimizu (ph), please.

SHIMIZU, NHK (ph): Thank you. Shimizu (ph) of NHK. I ask for the question to both of you. As Prime Minister Kishida mentioned, the abduction issue of

North Korea, I believe, was discussed.

Prime Minister, you have expressed your wish to have a direct engagement with Kim Jong-Un, but they say that abduction is already resolved, which

means that they are refusing. During the meeting, what did you tell President Biden about the outlook of a summit, and what engagement did you

ask President Biden?


President Biden, my question, what did you hear from Prime Minister Kishida, and what is your observation and feeling, your president, with the

nuclear missile issues? What is your position? Do you support early summit between Japan and North Korea? Thank you.

KISHIDA (through translator): First of all, if I may start. Regarding my summit meeting with President Biden about North Korea, including the

missile and nuclear issues, we have discussed and regarding the increasingly worrying situation, we have agreed to continue our close


And on top of that, we concurred that the window of discussion with North Korea is open, and we discussed that Japan, U.S. -- Japan, U.S., and ROK

will continue to work closely together.

I also asked for the continued understanding and cooperation for the immediate resolution of the abduction issue. And President Biden, once

again, gave myself a very strong assurance regarding the recent announcement by North Korea.

I will refrain from commenting on each and every announcement by North Korea, but, as I have been mentioning repeatedly, based on the perspective

that the establishment of a meaningful relation between Japan and North Korea is in the interest of both Japan and North Korea, and that it would

be hugely beneficial to the peace and stability of the region.

My policy is to aim for a summit meeting with North Korea to resolve various issues and with advanced high-level consultation directly under my

instruction. And that remains unchanged. That is my response.

BIDEN: We did discuss this issue. We both agreed that DPRK must also address the serious human rights and humanitarian concerns of the

International Community, including the immediate resolution of the abduction issue.

Well, you know, the prime minister has just spoken to the potential of what his plans may mean. But I welcome the opportunity -- we welcome the

opportunity of our allies to initiate dialogue with the Democratic Republic of Korea.

So, I've said many times, we're open to dialogue ourselves at any time, without preconditions with the DPRK. So, I have faith in Japan, I have

faith in the prime minister, and I think we're seeking a dialogue with them is a good thing, it's a positive thing. Thank you.

Why didn't everybody holler once?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll ask you briefly. On the issue of abortion, sir, respectively, what do you say to the people of Arizona right now who are

witnessing a law going in place that dates back to the Civil War here?

BIDEN: Elect me. I'm in the 20th century -- 21st century. Not back then. There weren't even a state. I find --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, how is the --

BIDEN: Thank you. Thank you all very much. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This concludes the press conference.

BIDEN: The war in Ukraine comes by the House leader allowing a vote. There's overwhelming support for Ukraine among the majority of Democrats

and Republicans. There should be a vote now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I will say there are a lot of topics that President Biden would like to talk about that there weren't even enough

questions allotted in what is called a two and two there. He took questions there about abortion and about Ukraine aid in addition to the critical

topics that he had to discuss there in the press conference as well. But he was saying that question about abortion in Arizona, elect me. I'm in the

20th century, but then he corrected himself to say the 21st century.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. A lot of topics between President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida. The first question when it was opened up to

reporters was about inflation directed at President Biden.

Obviously, there's a new report showing that inflation remains stubbornly high, the president responding by touting things that his administration

has done to bring it down from a high of 9 percent. It's still close to 4 percent, about 3.8 percent year over year, and that is going to be a

consistent issue lingering into the next election.

On the focus of the partnership between the U.S. and Japan, a lot to tout in terms of defensive capabilities and advancements in that regard. And

also, on the economic side.

Notably though, a lot of this has to do with China, right?

KEILAR: Of course.


SANCHEZ: And when President Biden was asked about it, he said that effectively the discussions between Japan and the United States are

defensive. He said something to the effect of, this is not about a conflict, just bringing stability to the region, very diplomatic language

from President Biden there.

KEILAR: He said it's not about one country right, paging China is -- he didn't say China, but that is exactly what he was talking about. But no

doubt, this is a critical relationship ahead of this historic meeting between, of course, Japan and the Philippines and the U.S. as he's clearly

looking to consolidate influence against China with its aggression in the South China Sea.

We have Kayla Tausche who was there, I believe, in the Rose Garden. She's there at the White House tracking this news conference, a lot of other

topics as well, talking about military aid to Israel in addition to that abortion decision by the Arizona Supreme Court and of course, this critical

relationship and the U.S. steel deal, that proposal by Nippon Steel, the fourth largest steel producer in the world, the largest steel producer in

Japan trying to purchase that iconic American company. Kayla, tell us the highlights here.

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, it was really a litany of A1 topics, both domestically and overseas, that

President Biden was able to touch on in this press conference with the backdrop of an historic state visit by a longtime ally of the United


And as you saw, there was a deepening of military collaboration, the co- development of weapons through a new Joint Defense Council, a consultation to evaluate whether Japan should be a member of the AUKUS partnership with

Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. to develop nuclear submarines to deploy in the South China Sea and across the Indo-Pacific.

Prime Minister Kishida was asked whether there is a clear path for Japan to join that alliance. And he said that that is what they're going to be

discussing through this new consultation.

Of course, you mentioned the fact that China is not present here. President Xi is not here at this visit. But he was the center of the discussion. He

was sort of the raison d'etre for this summit even taking place.

And while the leaders went to great lengths to say that this is about readiness, this is not about conflict, it's about peace and stability in

the South China Sea and across the Taiwan Strait, that they condemned the idea of unilateral force being used to reclaim Taiwan by China, but they

still took the opportunity to mention their alliance and mention the efforts that they were going to to try to protect that peace and stability

while ensuring that the lines of communication are open and stressing cooperation with China as the key to essentially diffuse tensions and avoid

a misunderstanding or a miscommunication.

Certainly, that is also going to be the theme tomorrow when the president of the Philippines joins the conversation. The three leaders are going to

be discussing an infrastructure investment, we're told, where the U.S. and Japan will be funding a new rail and shipping corridor, connecting to

critical Filipino military bases while the Philippines accuses China of harassment in some of its critical economic zones.

So, China will figure prominently in those continued discussions, even if they are saying that the goal is to diffuse these tensions. Brianna, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Kayla Tausche at the White House Forest. Kayla, please stand by.

Let's get some perspective now with Kimberly Dozier. Kim, you were watching very closely. One of the things that strikes me about this two and two

press conference is the mention of so many of the other players in the region. Obviously, Japan is the linchpin of this effort in the United

States to exert influence in the Pacific. But there was mention of Australia, of South Korea, the Philippines, obviously.

It sounds a lot like Biden is trying to reclaim the arena in the way that Donald Trump did not. Donald Trump blew up the Trans-Pacific Partnership,

which sought to do the very same things, right, that Biden is doing now.

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, these parties that you're talking about have just done a joint patrol because the message to

China is stop messing in our territory. Chinese jets have buzzed, Japanese airspace. The Chinese Coast Guard has harassed the Philippine naval vessels

and Coast Guard vessels with everything from water cannon to ramming their boats.

So, it's this network gathering together saying that, you've got to stop the harassment in the South China Sea, which the Chinese consider their

own, and in the East China Sea. And also, how about China start raining in Pyongyang? You've allowed them to just fire and test missiles.

So, at the same time, what you heard from that first question that Kishida got from his media is the concern within Japan that ramping their defense -