Reports: Biden calls Japan 'xenophobic' at an election campaign event

Media reports say US President Joe Biden has blamed Japan's economic troubles on xenophobia while arguing that the US economy is growing because it accepts immigrants.

Biden reportedly made the remarks at a fundraising event for his 2024 re-election campaign held in Washington on Wednesday.

Reuters news agency quotes Biden as saying one of the reasons the US economy is growing is because it welcomes immigrants.

Biden went on to say, "Why is China stalling so badly economically, why is Japan having trouble, why is Russia, why is India, because they're xenophobic. They don't want immigrants. Immigrants are what makes us strong."

US media outlet Bloomberg also reported on Biden's comments. It said that while Biden has linked China's economic woes to its unwillingness to accept immigration before, this time he added Russia and long-standing ally Japan.

Bloomberg pointed out that Biden welcomed Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio for a summit and state dinner in Washington three weeks ago.

It noted that Biden's "criticisms and the fact that Japan was mentioned alongside two major US rivals could raise hackles in Tokyo."