White House thanks Suga for his leadership

The White House has issued a statement thanking outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide for his leadership.

The statement, released on Friday, also reaffirmed the continued strength of the US-Japan alliance.

Suga's term as president of the main ruling Liberal Democratic Party expires at the end of this month. The LDP's majority in the Diet means whoever leads the party is virtually assured of being Japan's prime minister.

But earlier on Friday, Suga told Liberal Democratic Party executives that he will not run in the LDP's upcoming leadership race.

The White House statement pointed out that Suga was the first foreign leader to hold face-to-face talks with US President Joe Biden.

It also thanked Suga for his leadership on common global issues including the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, North Korea, China, and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

The statement stresses that the US-Japan alliance will remain strong not just between the two governments, but also among their citizens.