‘I know how proud you are of the people of Japan,’ Biden tells the Japanese prime minister, ‘and you’ve got a Japanese boy coming over here, and guess what, he won the Masters,’ he said during the first visit by a foreign leader to the White House.
Matsuyama, 29, made history last weekend when he became the first Japanese-born male player to win a Major and the coveted Green Jacket at Augusta.
Biden’s comment was a throwaway line at the end of his opening statement where he talked about the US and Japan’s strong relationship.
The US president also reaffirmed his commitment to tackle gun violence and called shootings a ‘national embarrassment’ after the FedEx attack in Indianapolis that left eight dead.
President Joe Biden congratulated Hideki Matsuyama for winning The Masters and called him a ‘Japanese boy’ during his press conference with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga
The pair both talked about how they would tackle the challenges of China, North Korea,anti-Asian hate crime, climate change and the COVID pandemic.
‘I discussed the increase of discriminations or violences again Asian people across the U.S. with President Biden and agreed that discrimination by race cannot be permitted by any societies,’ Suga said during the leaders’ joint press conference in the White House Rose Garden. ‘We agreed on this regard.’
Last month, the group stop AAPI Hate said 3,795 hate crimes against Asian-Americans occurred in the United States between March 19, 2020 and February 28, as China was blamed for the coronavirus spread.
Matsuyama, 29, made history last weekend when he became the first Japanese-born male player to win the coveted Green Jacket at Augusta
‘President Biden’s comment [that] discriminations or violences cannot [be] allowed and that he firmly opposes was extremely encouraging for me and I have renewed my confidence in American democracy once again,’ the Japanese leader added, through his English translator.
Suga said the two leaders ‘agreed on the necessity for each of us to engage in frank dialogue with China.’
‘We also had serious talks on China’s influence over the peace and prosperity over the Indo-Pacific and the world at large,’ Suga said.
They also spoke about keeping North Korea’s nuclear program in line.
In 2019, Biden apologized for using the term ‘boy’ during a fundraiser.
‘I do understand the consequence of the word ‘boy” Biden told MSNBC’s Al Sharpton after speaking at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s convention. ‘But it wasn’t said in any of that context at all.’
The pair both talked about how they would tackle the challenges of China, North Korea,anti-Asian hate crime, climate change and the COVID pandemic
Earlier the same week he sparked controversy during a New York speech by saying ‘at least there was some civility’ while working with segregationists in the 1970s and 190s.
‘I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,’ Biden said referring to the notoriously racist Mississippi Democrat. ‘He never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me “son”.’
He insisted the use of the term was not derogatory.
‘To the extent that anybody thought that I meant something different, that is not what I intended it. It’d be wrong for anybody to intend that.’
In the Rose Garden, Biden talked about the importance of in-person meetings.
‘There’s no substitute for face-to-face discussion,’ Biden said. ‘We are still taking COVID precautions, being careful, but our commitment to meeting in person is indicative of the importance and value we place in this relationship between Japan and the United States.’
Suga began his brief remarks in the State Dining Room by sending condolences to the victims and their family members of the U.S.’s latest mass shooting, Thursday night in Indianapolis, Indiana.
‘Innocent citizens must not be exposed to any such violence,’ Suga said. ‘Freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law are the universal values that link our alliance that is prevalent in the Indo-Pacific.’
Suga said he hoped to talk about common challenges like COVID-19 and climate change.
The ever folksy Biden called the Japanese leader by his first name and when it was his turn to talk said, ‘As we say in the body that I used to work in, the United State Senate, I yield the floor to the prime minister.’